Digressionissimo

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Some mornings, digressions seem like the thing to do.

Terminus

The night is vast and roomy, endless empty benches, irregularly spaced on aging tiles. Half are broken.

An impatient grief wears me like last season’s coat. Selfish regrets cheapen me and leave me feeling small.

A massive square clock hangs above me, brass and flaking enamel, shaking with each tick as if gripped by a palsied Atlas. I check my watch against it and sigh.

Vast and roomy and eternal. Somewhere in the distance I can hear Rome complaining.

The ticket lurks in my breast pocket. At least I think it is a ticket, magnetic strip on stiff paper, printed while I waited by a whispering ATM on steroids. It is all in Italian. It could be a laundry list. Trust to luck.

I wander like half a newspaper in a channeled wind. The air tastes oily. Why is nothing else alive?

I stop before a machine amongst machines. Soda is the universal language. I crave comfort. I fumble for change, unknown coins, they tumble and echo and roll through empty passages.

In pursuit, stumbling like an overburdened comedian, I look up to stare down long hallways of arrested motion, the trains posed and waiting, lashed by sound. Some steaming expectantly, some trembling like thwarted lovers, some simply dead to my eye.

Like regrets.

How many of these have I already missed, how many were never destined for me, how many did I stand and watch pull out, unable to board but realizing I would never see their like again? How many will I catch again and again without really noticing them, how many were meant to take me to the end before I derailed them, how many will simply make mechanical promises before leaving me in the darkness of the roundabout?

Even the wondering feels presumptuous, arrogant…sometimes, things just are. Her voice echoes, blending with the industrial screaming. “Why can’t you accept that? Why can’t you just let me be happy?”

The night is vast and roomy, and filled with unmarked gates.

We all have a terminus of doubt and vindication. A place for beginnings and endings. Forever and ever.

Dawn is still to come as I rush towards Salerno. At least I think I am rushing towards Salerno. I don’t really know.

The night is vast and all things are what they were meant to be…everything else is just regret.

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