:: an excerpt written on the train between Berlin and Prague ::
And then it was over. She boarded her train, staring through the window, through me, as it pulled away from the station. I stood there. I stood there waiting for my train in the opposite direction, thumbing her flamingo lipstick from the corner crease of my mouth.
Her little dancing box of flashing neon and scant apparel closed soon after, I suppose, shutting up its past and hiding behind sagging boards and primary-colored graffiti. Its neighbors would point to it in moments of remember when and used to be before enough time passed and they too forgot its inhabitants until one day a newcomer, perhaps someone like my former self, bought that Pandora’s box for a penance and turned it into a mini-mart, a cheap purveyor of hydrogenated oils and sugar syrups dressed to kill in vibrant, come-hither packaging. Or, maybe, a young couple would furnish it into a quaint, over-priced restaurant that touted romance and intimacy in an ideal sort of mockery.
I gnawed on my bottom lip, pinching it between my teeth.
That grey-tinged box of a building would forge both more and less than those three pink months of lipstick and cherry blossoms and I wouldn’t – couldn’t – be there to see it.
-M. Ray Hall