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