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Crowded Train Chronicles: Train of Thought

Updated on May 31, 2016

“Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door.”

― Saul Bellow

Him

He is old, but not very; lives all by himself.He isn't rich. He isn't poor. He has no family.He isn't anything to talk about. He isn't great in the eyes of others.He's never been a perfectionist. He's never done anything perfectly.He's tackled situations by approximation.He's never been a victor, a loser neither.That's him.

He is old, but not very.
He is old, but not very. | Source

His Day

Just an average weekday by his standards. He isn't a terribly busy man and seldom uses the phone. He doesn't have a line at home, depending only on his mobile which hardly ever rings.

He just bought himself a rucksack. The old one tore. His rucksack is important to him. He keeps his water bottle and a couple of sandwiches in it. He travels all the time. He loves experiences. He's an introvert, but he loves experiences.

What He Carries in his Rucksack while Travelling
Water bottle
A couple of sandwiches
Some money


He almost never travels outside the city. His favourite mode of transport is the city's extensive train network.

He made himself a couple of sandwiches. He takes one out and begins to eat.

 His favourite mode of transport is the city's extensive train network.
His favourite mode of transport is the city's extensive train network. | Source

What He Does

He collects memories for a living. His memories are the wind in his sails. He cannot do without them. Money is never an issue. He is low maintenance and seldom falls ill.

Reminiscence

As he sits back, assuming a more comfortable position and looking out of the window, his thoughts wander. It is time for reminiscence. The train chugs along.

He remembers the pauper he saw the day before; a man wearing a tattered old shirt and dirty pants. He didn't make much of an impact on anyone, and not on our old man. He is still important. He is a memory.

Just this morning, our man gave a little girl a candy bar. She took it with an innocent smile. That's a memory. He smiles to himself thinking of it. He knows that the wicked world is filled with a lot of cruelty punctuated by little sweethearts like her.


He knows that the wicked world is filled with a lot of cruelty punctuated by little sweethearts like her.
He knows that the wicked world is filled with a lot of cruelty punctuated by little sweethearts like her. | Source

He wonders what she does at home. Does she play with her toys all the time, or does she watch cartoons too? Are her parents taking care of her well enough? Are they strict or liberal? Are they Communists or Capitalists? Rich or poor?

He goes back in time to many years ago. There was a girl then. She had emotive eyes and a beautiful smile. He was madly in love with her, although he never told her, and she probably never found out. She had a name: Beatrice. He smiles again, and this time, there is a tinge of melancholy to it.

He was always looking for excuses to be around her. The power of attraction. He always made a fool of himself trying to impress her, and she was never impressed.


“The hardest thing about the road not taken is that you never know where it might have led.”

-Lisa Wingate, A Month of Summer


He looks at the crowd in the compartment and realizes that he is lucky to have found a seat for himself. He always manages to find a seat for himself. It's called experience.


Gone

His stop is nearing and he prepares to get off. He must stand in line for the door although it's more pushing and shoving than waiting. He's used to it though, and doesn't worry about losing his wallet in the melee. He always keeps it in his rucksack, and he has a new and sturdy one today.

Finally the stop arrives and people flood out of the compartment, our man among them. He hesitates for a bit, then slowly walks away,becoming one among the many faceless strangers.

He walks away, becoming one among the many faceless strangers.
He walks away, becoming one among the many faceless strangers. | Source

"Of all that I have possessed in my life, my memories are the only things remaining to me. Indeed, I believe that memories are the only real treasure any human can hope to hold always.”

- Gary Jennings, Aztec

If you had a chance to relive your past, would you do anything differently?

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    • rohanfelix profile image
      Author

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Spellbound, enjoyed reading. Voted up.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      If I had a chance to relive the past AND I could remember this one, I would do everything differently. I would have and know so much more.

    • rohanfelix profile image
      Author

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      I'm glad you were able to associate with this piece!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      You drew me in on this story. I believe many of us can associate with his thoughts. If I could redo the past in some way I believe I would.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      You're a good writer. This has a tinge a remorse, as the narrator has unfinished business with the girl in his memory. If there is a girl you cannot get out of your mind (I do recall the same image in something you previously wrote), consider seeking her out. Be prepared for all the possibilities. At least this way, you will know for sure whether she regarded you the same as you did her, whether she is alive and happy, whether she might see you in her future. Don't live a life with regrets or question marks. Life is too short. I wish you well in seeking her out.

    • JannyC profile image

      JannyC 3 years ago

      Tweeted this to my followers. Like your style!

    • rohanfelix profile image
      Author

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      Thank you :) for the meaningful and descriptive feedback!

    • rohanfelix profile image
      Author

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      Thank you so much! Happy Hump Day!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      Such a great story. You've introduced us to this unknown man and made us feel for him and even associate with him in some ways.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      The third-person perspective makes the reader feel as if she is there with the narrator seeing what he sees, Nicely done hub and very much enjoyed. V+

      Happy Hump Day!

      Kim

    • Scott-Fitzgerald profile image

      Scott Hess 3 years ago from Tacoma

      I love this. You play with the style in such a way that makes it compelling rather than cluttered. The injection of pictures, titles, and lists break up the normal pattern of a story in a way that shows the complexity of the mind and the formatting of it.

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 3 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      I enjoyed this short journey. This is an interesting style - short punchy narrative, restless and intense.