Le Rails


There is something I find kind and soothing in emptiness. I always visit the train station after the last train. I do this every night when I know there will be no one there. But my routine was altered one night. There’s an old man. What’s happening? Am I perhaps too early?
I fought an urge to just call it a night and walk back home. The night has been RUINED! I must have been standing for about 6 minutes when I finally went on to sit on my usual spot. It’s near the end of the platform where the encircling walls meet in a right angle, right below the notice boards, where sometimes people post adverts for their gigs or businesses.
The old man was sitting on a far-right bench wearing a brown coat covering his entire body and a hat with a red fur on its side, his grizzled facial hair matched his outfit. I wondered if he was a magician, but the stainless-steel bench made him look rather a poetic man. He was sitting up-right in the middle of it with his left leg crossed over his right and drinking a nip of Captain Morgan rum. ‘There goes his sorrows down the rails.’ I muttered.

I pondered if he was waiting for someone and that maybe they stood him up, because he did not board the last train. I had never seen him before. In all fact, I have never been in the presence of anyone at this hour. I did not mind his company, however. Unlike most old men who get drunk, he was not mumbling to himself or singing unintelligible songs or making eye-contact with me. He was just sitting, waiting for God knows what.

Anyhoo, it could be the fluorescent lights or how the rails seem to be sighing in loud silence and somewhat happy that the day is over. Or maybe it’s the faulty lamp that keeps on flashing sporadically every four-seconds near the restrooms, or the buzzing sound of the train cables, which one never hears during the day. Whatever it is; it brings me harmony, and I bond well with all that jazz.

I don’t know what happened to the old man. He was not there the following night. I marvelled on whether he was going to spend a night on another station with Captain Morgan. Wherever he was, it was not here. I was alone this time, just me and the rails.