Goodbye South Bend

November 27, 2008
By Sarah Duis, Mishawaka, IN

I'm lightheaded and feeling like a criminal as I walk onto the train with my floppy bag and shoes that are falling apart and find a seat not by too many mom's with babies or men with newspapers and sit there looking at the parking lot of the airport of the town that i live in or lived in depending on how things turn out where i'm going and suddenly the train lurches forward and slowly slow increasing speed now fast i say goodbye to it and i am sitting still but the train is racing past fields and homes and nothing in particular and my eyes look pretty in the reflection of the glass and my pantyhose has a run in it and the man behind me and to the right in the other aisle keeps looking at me at least i think he is sometimes i get paranoid but sometimes people really do like to stare god knows why and i pull out my notebook and try to write a few lines about the clacking sounds beneath me and the stains on the seat next to me and the unbearable cold god isn't there heat on this thing but it's just terrible writing completely cliche and my hands are too unsteady anyway so i try and fall asleep but there is really no comfortable way to do that on a train if you rest your head on the window you can't keep your brain from rattling around and your skull from bouncing on the window and i can't lie down because what if someone needs the seat next to me and trying to sleep while sitting upright is just ridiculous so i lean with my back against the window and stare at the few people in my car and start to wonder what they were like when they were little kids and what their secrets are and if they've ever met anyone famous and what's inside of their stomachs and how what's the worst sin they've ever commited and if they're sorry and i think these kinds of things for a long time because the people just keep coming and going, at least 8 stops worth of these kinds of thoughts and i start to feel kind of crazy so i pull my hand-held tetris game out of my bag and play that for another hour and a half and i leave the sound on and i think i can feel people giving me annoyed glances but i don't care they'll get over it and the faces on the train keep changing and no one stays very long except this one woman who is dressed in an awful black dress and i think she keeps crying but i think she could also be laughing it's so hard to tell and just when i'm really starting to get sick of the game the voice in the ceiling says "last stop" and i get up and now i'm racing to get off and the train is sitting stiil and i step off the train onto the filthy concrete feeling like i was just born and the sun is just rising over this huge breathing city bathing it in golden light this city of strangers and i pull my sweater tighter around me because it's so so cold.

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