The Rush of the New

The Rush of the New

I’m standing at the train tracks. The platform is dark except for the muddy yellow street lights overhead.

Across the tracks I can see into the city. Neon stores signs flicker “open” & “24 hours.” The crosswalk signal counts down from 10 in an orange glow.

It’s freezing cold. I miss my gloves. There’s a chill in the evening air that feels wrong, like news that arrives too early. Or maybe it’s right on time. In the steady silence, I’m left with nothing but my own thoughts.

I don’t exactly know how I got here. Well, I mean, of course I know. I walked here, like I do every Monday after my shift ends. But now, I will leave this routine behind. I will shed it uncomfortably to lay naked for a time, until I find new clothes. New opportunity.

As much as I mourn the loss of this comfort, I can already feel the buzz of something new stirring. Its coming. I feel it creeping slowly in the air, drawing me in. But I can’t help but wonder if it’s just my own well of hope reflecting back at me. I always feel optimistic as one door closes, convinced that I’ll hear the click-click of another opening.

It’s never a guarantee, though. Sure, there will be something else. But will it be better? How long will I have to wait?

In the distance, I hear the faint ringing of the coming train. With each second, the bell tolls louder and louder. I feel a push in the air the moment before the train passes. In a split second, it is whirring by me.

As it slows to a stop, I let out a long, cool breath. This train is heading home.

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Glory and failure

Glory and failure

I make it a priority not to run for buses. Or trains in this case.

Maybe it’s because I have a crippling fear of failure. Running leaves me exposed.  If I run and don’t make it on time, it would’ve all been for nothing.

All that hope and energy wasted.

Maybe it’s because running reveals what horrible shape I am in. Is there a worse image than a person keeled over, huffing and puffing as the bus glides away? The look of despair in their eyes. Disappointment in their gasping breath.
They tried and failed.

But today, I ran and won. I wont even bother to be ambiguous about what propelled me.

Soccer. If I caught this train, I could make it home in time to watch most of the game.

Maybe that’s the difference between an athlete running for the net and a person trying to catch a bus. An athlete upon seeing the goal line is fueled with every inch to persevere. The train-chaser too I suppose. What awaits the athlete on the other side of the pitch? Glory …and failure. But they never hesitate to run.

Drenched and gasping for breath, I never thought I could find glory on the inside of a train. But catching this train felt like a victory to me.

And I should also probably work out more.