It was that which made me take the train. And not the fact that I'd seen him, and I'd realised that no matter how many times his eyes met mine against the black, dust playing beneath the lamplight between our closed lips, he'd never look at me in the remotely the same way I looked at him - but because I'd realised all in an instant the utter futility of it all, the futility of walking up that pathway every day and sitting through five hours with the hope of seeing him at the end, or somewhere in the middle. No better to love him than to love country air, to feel light's thick golden strokes against my skin and the rich freshness of the air - no better to pine after his eyes than those in the fields and plants and brooks, or his hands when feeling the wind against your palms is as consuming as real flesh's warm embrace. And there's such intimacy to it, yes, I felt at home - a rawness which refuses to deceive, like eye contact, that ultimate and jarring honesty and its according raking, timid warmth.
I had hoped the train would take me to river brooks, where I could lie with my heart in my open hands and feel the air against my lips, carefree. But, flying further from you I could feel the chains tightening against my throat, the ghostly sensation of you next to me, the brutal tearing as I sped away from you across a metal skeleton on the earth I lived on purely, purely for you. And then the pain. The pain, ripping me in half, splitting me like the train split the soil and the countryside; and the intense redness of it all, the blinding redness which pummelled my eyelids and tore open the long-held scars in my throat that had spelled out your name. There was no sensation like it; the roaring of brass and white noise, a drumbeat tracing the echoes of my heart's pulse, and the strings, the sharp and piercing strings cutting the air like diamond.
When the train stopped it was sunset. You sometimes wish you could consume a place; it's like honey, golden and streaky and full of vivid promise - and that was the sunset, an explosion which looked at me, straight on, with a power and honesty I'd never seen before. Nothing had ever possessed me quite that fully as the sky then, in a place where I could feel my skin against ripening silk petals and think it beautiful. A place where I could trace the blooming, the flowering of one tree after another against the relentless sky, its cloudlessness. It was that which brought me peace, though it set me alight, though it smouldered to burn away the wasted heartfulness that had brought me there. And all that was left, then, stretching across the horizon, was the time - behind, the time I'd wasted on him, on seeing his smile in lamplight and fireflies, and in front, the peacefulness, a pale gradient of light-stricken hopefulness.