On A Train

October 1, 2009

Oh God.

Where were we? It doesn’t matter, I suppose. It’s been days, and in future-internet-skip time that’s literal ages.Do you remember our previous correspondence? Our adventures together? They are much the same. All that’s changed is everything. Perhaps a new setting for this, my latest letter to you?

A train, I think. Yes. Let’s be traveling on a train. There is a window behind us, and I think something must be wrong with the train, or the world, or the rate that we’re travelling across it. Sometimes it seems like Spring, and yet other times I fear the snow will bury us all. We’ve only been on the train a few minutes, yet the seasons have changed so quickly. I must have spent years looking out this window.

A bottle of something, perhaps?

A waiter in a dark mood arrives. His mustache is nothing less then vile, his smile as thin as it is sinister. He holds a chain, and along this chain are various bottles.

“I’ll have the typo champagne” I tell him.

“That’s champsne, Sir.”

“Yes–of course.–and my friend here will have the…” (at this point, I motion toward you, and you say:

“I’ll have the umm, er–uh ________”

“excellent choice,” he says without meaning it.

I shoot you a glance and you smile. The waiter pours out my champsne, (a glass of bubbling water and various misspelled letters) before producing a dusty glass fro somewhere behind him. He sets this in front of you.

“And for you, of course…” he murmurs, pouring out a full glass of ________ , and not bothering to wipe the dust out of the glass, as is the custom on this train with such a beverage.

As the waiter leaves, we smile and nod, pretending to clink our glasses in a cheer. I stare at the words floating in my champagne, and give your glass a quick look of envy. As I sip, the bubbles tingle, the words catch and scratch in my throat. You laugh and tell me typos are never god on the palate. I smile.

Many seasons have passed our window by now. I sigh and put down my glass.

“I have news.” I tell you. “I have decided not to serialize my serialized novel.”

You nod your head, wondering if this is going to be boring.

“I’m going to finish it and get it published…its just grown so much, and I really like it–and I just think I should try and get it published.” You nod again, and say something nice. “…I’m on part four right now,” I add, as if somehow this is important to my decision. “…it gets crazy.”

You smile and say “cool.”

I take one last sip as I stare out the window. The sharp edge of typos hit my lips as Spring scenery blossoms in green grass and rainbow everything. By the time I finish swallowing, the first snows are erasing everything.


Todd Rogers