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A Train of Thought (standard:Psychological fiction, 6584 words)
Author: T.A. ParmaleeAdded: Feb 26 2008Views/Reads: 2361/1583Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A fast moving train. And everyone is growing old for no apparent reason. Could the final destination be death?


Sometimes it envelops you, making you cough. That's how it is at first,
anyway. Especially in a train station. There's nothing else to do in a 
train station but smoke and to observe the other people smoking. I 
don't even like cigarettes, but I'm smoking one now, just because. 

I'm in downtown Trenton and it's one in the morning. There's a beautiful
black girl sitting beside me and she keeps looking in her little pocket 
mirror, arranging her delicate face. 

Every once in awhile somebody will sit beside her and she'll have to
move her bags to make room for them. It's funny how she curses under 
her breath. She curses even though they are sitting right beside her. 

“Fuck me,” I mutter under my breath. 

The woman looks over at me and stares blankly. I give a heavy sigh and
walk over to the newspaper stand so I can buy another pack of 

That's when I see a young man walking back and forth in front of the
information booth with his hands balled up in his pockets. He's looking 
at the ground and it seems like he's gritting something through his 
teeth, as though he's learning to dance by serenading an invisible 

For some reason, I think of my mother. The last time I spoke to her she
had said she hadn't been able to eat, that life “was getting the best 
of her.” 

She always was urging me not to let that happen to me—I guess she was a
good mother like that. But she disappointed me because I knew she could 
have gotten the best of life. She had gotten the best of it, but I 
think it wasn't what she had imagined it would be. The nice house we 
all lived in together didn't seem to mean that much to her because 
other people besides her were living in it. 

She didn't actually throw me out of the house, but she sold it and then
told me to get out. I needed to get a life of my own, she said. My 
father was leaving the same time I was being shown the door, mostly 
because he was sick of it all. 

But he loved my mother. I know he did. He loved her very much. 

Thinking about all this, I walk past the man whose pacing back and
forth. His hair is slicked back and he looks excessively overdressed 
for being in a train station at one in the morning. He's wearing a 
green Polo sweater and khakis and there's not a crease on him. 

“Get me to Florida,” I mutter under my breath, walking back to my seat
with a cigarette in my mouth. A couple of police officers are 
patrolling about. One of them is leaning on a wall and nibbling on a 
donut: he has a whole box of them. There is an overweight man sprawled 
out in one of the boat-like chairs against the far wall. He is black 
and has dark glasses on. One of his legs is tucked protectively under 
the arm of his chair and he's shifting back and forth, trying to get 
some sleep. The cop with the donut walks over to him and tells him that 
he has to leave. 

The vagrant looks up at the cop's donut longingly. He mutters something
about not having anywhere to go, but the officer just threatens him by 
moving a step closer to his seat. Reluctantly, the man gets up and 
limps away, favoring his good leg. His blue sweatpants don't have any 
pockets so he just sticks his hands in the waistband and I watch him 

I take another drag from my cigarette when someone comes up to me and
introduces himself. He says his name is Tony. His eyes are bloodshot 
and he's wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Before he even asks me, I reach 
into one of my pockets and give him a quarter. Anytime someone comes up 
to you in the city introducing himself he wants money. If they tell you 
any different it's a lie and you shouldn't believe them. 

A whistle blows and a loud voice says something about having to go to

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