“Everything is interesting and important if you look long enough.” – G. Flaubert
I watched tempered glass and dilapidated buildings shrink from my window seat on the train, one cluster after another flitting past my sleepy lids. Their concrete faces flanked the tracks from Warsaw to Berlin wearing Pepto pink, mint, ginger, and cerulean paint. They looked like slightly chewed gumballs; soft, crumbling imprints dotted their once glossy surfaces, each bite a mark in their historical existence. One day, perhaps sooner rather than later, they would yield wholly into gray masses of indiscernible color, be tossed aside in a pile of rubble and replaced by newer, brighter, shinier gumballs. A certain sadness crept over me, a nostalgic aching for those buildings I had never known, would probably never know, buildings that were somehow more beautiful for their wear.
I don’t have a picture of these concrete gumballs to share with you, their existence fleeing too quickly, but I do have my memory of them and my words. And sometimes, words are more than enough.
Check back tomorrow for my first destination post: Berlin.
-M. Ray Hall