1. Across the Tracks


    Date: 7/29/2017, Categories: Exhibitionism, Author: Just_A_Guy_You_Know, Source: LushStories

    It's almost three in the morning. The summer night air is warm, but comfortable. A gentle breeze stirs occasionally. Crickets drone steadily, and beneath that is the soft intermittent sighing of cars passing on the distant freeway. Moths flit fanatically against the grimy light bulbs over head. Other bulbs - street lights, house lights, security lights- form a constellation against the darkness of the far-off hills. A new noise rudely disturbs the stillness - asphalt and small stones crunching beneath heavy luggage wheels. He rounds a brick corner of the southbound platform. He's twenty five years old, six feet, dressed in jeans, an open plaid long-sleeve shirt, and a vintage Rolling Stones t-shirt underneath - all new, clean, and neat. There's a large pair of silver retro headphones around his collar. They're attached to the latest model iPhone in the breast pocket of his shirt. His hair is shaggy brown-blonde, wavy and parted on the left side. He's dragging a blue suitcase wearily behind him. He makes his way several paces down the platform to a bench; wire mesh coated in brown plastic of some kind. The noise of his progress stops. The crickets carry on, regardless. He glances northward, beyond the last illuminated tree branches into the darkness, and beyond. There's nothing. The train is not due for another forty-five minutes. He sits, and takes in the night. At the south end of the station a fox emerges. It looks around, sees him - looks straight at him, then trots across ...
    the tracks, and disappears into the bushes on the other side, leaving him again in solitude. He mounts his headphones over his ears, pulls the iPhone from his pocket, and selects Explosions in the Sky. Intricate dual guitar arpeggios twinkle and chime together reverberating into wide-open Texas spaces so far from the Clinton City train depot where he sits and waits now. Home. He reaches inside of the pocket of his jeans and pulls out a pack of American Spirit cigarettes. He takes one, leaving only four. From the opposite pocket he produces a disposable Bic lighter. A flash, a flame, and the hot glow of burning tobacco leaves as he takes a long drag. He contemplates the dancing tendrils of smoke. Explosions in the Sky are building towards a crescendo between his ears, distortion peddles stomped, eruption, euphoric catharsis, dulled slightly by familiarity and expectations. It will never be as great as the first time. Still pretty good, though. He closes his eyes, trying to fully experience the majesty of the squalling feedback and crashing cymbals, hoping to relive that sense of discovery and uplift. All he discovers is what his Brazillian grandmother would call 'saudade'- a nostalgia for the halcyon days of his adolescence that he doubts ever really existed as he remembers them. When he opens his eyes, he finds he is no longer alone. A woman has joined him on the opposite platform across the tracks. He hasn't heard her over the music. Her hair is golden-blonde and curly. She ...
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