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Smudgemarked photographs

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I want to preface this by saying that the reason I posted this here, rather than my usual place (my Facebook is where I usually post stuff like this), is that the subject matter is personal, and the person it is about could read it there. Luckily, this place is somewhat anonymous, and you guys don't know me in RL, or her, so that's ok then. I think. :unsure:

Anyway, I wrote this at an empty train station, as it was beginning to rain, with the wind scratching my face and... well... I'll let you read it for yourself.

Everything we see is marked by our presence. Like those smudgemarked photographs we have of friends, frayed around the edges, but still proudly holding that experience, stuck to our walls or folded inside a wallet. We can look back at any building, walk through any city and sit in any car, and like those fingerprints, the building is suddenly the old family home; the city is a place with a familiar park, which you always ran home through after school; the car was the way you finally left you home. Everything is more than what it is - it's what it is to you.

I sat at the barren, country-side station, rain sputtered and sprayed across my face, thousands of tiny needles digging into me, pricking my bare arms and cheek. I didn't imagine anyone actually came through here, except poor sods like me sent out to do some desperate job. The Boy Scouts on the opposite platform had been huddled together under the shelter, some of them bracing themselves against the weather and breaking from the group, just to get a quiet moment to themselves.

I watched them and thought and the lost pride of my own youth, of a gangly teenager in a grown man's uniform, marching around a square, shouting like an experienced officer and terrified of making a mistake like a stupid boy. If I hadn't given it up, if I'd stuck at one thing in my life, would I at least feel like it wasn't wasted, like I'd done something that mattered?

The station cleared, and I was left mostly alone, except for a couple: the woman huddled over a map, and the man pacing and arguing with her. I thought of her and I thought of my Sunday mornings. Whilst some men were knelt in churches, the station bench was my pew, the Announcer was my divine voice, the smell of the the engines passing by was the censor. When I saw her expectant face pass by the window as my train pulled in, as I stepped off and went into her arms - that was my holy communion, that was beauty and happiness transubstantiated into human form - that was my spiritual cleansing.

And as I would leave again, each minute spent away with her was a sin, a moment idly wasted, not doing what I preached about wanting, not doing what was good and right. It was for that reason that I needed atonement, as I racked up a debt of sin, of time spent away from her, and I needed that to be forgiven in my first kiss, every Sunday.

Did she everknow that these kinds of thoughts existed - did that same pale unblemished face, those innocent, steady eyes and that tender, solemn body - did she ever concieve of the way I ever felt? Maybe she tried to shrug it off, like most men do with a favourite vice, like alcoholism or a gambling addiction, "What can I say? I'm only human! I just have these unstoppable desires."

So when I sit at train stations, listening to a far off crack of the electric motor of the train, as it plows down the line, my first thought isn't, in fact, of the engine. It isn't of a marvellous design of man, of a thundering engine of progress, as my Father or Brother would hold it to be; to me, it's demobilisation, it is paralysis, it is decline. It is a memory of a vessel which once sped me towards a better place, and now only takes me to cold, rain swept stations, out in the middle of nowhere.

The train tracks stretch off into the distance, to some far off place in the distance, and in my memory. Distance is relative, and sometimes we can cross any redth of space or time with a single spark, eliciting a memory from our subconcious, awakening a long suppressed monster or releasing an innocent skylark.

More often, distance is an illusion we make up, to justify our own feelings of inadequecy, to make them more than just vauge fears and into concrete terrors: the extra mile, the longest five minutes, the deepest hatred. All of them conspire to turn any slighty abstraction, into a beastly, evil nightmare.

Do we ever really let go of those thing's we've lost, or do we instead place 'Missing' posters all over the world around us, hoping that some day, we'll go see an old lover or visit an old house, and suddenly they'll respond to our thoughts, and things will be as they were, as we wanted them to be?

Post-script: Upon writing this, I realise it's actually complete crap. But I'd like to know if you agree: is it pure shite, or is there something salvagable in there?

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Post-script: Upon writing this, I realise it's actually complete crap. But I'd like to know if you agree: is it pure shite, or is there something salvagable in there?

Salvagable!! A bit disjointed perhaps, but I like the way you write.

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Its salvagable. This is the part that caught my attention:

Do we ever really let go of those thing's we've lost, or do we instead place 'Missing' posters all over the world around us, hoping that some day, we'll go see an old lover or visit an old house, and suddenly they'll respond to our thoughts, and things will be as they were, as we wanted them to be?

It can be both. I put up missing posters on an exboyfriend(metaphorically speaking). I finally got the courage to email him and find out what he was up to. I ignored the warning signs and saw him as I had thought he was when I was dating him. Only when he told me: "I want to go to bible school and go to south america and translate the bible to tribes" did I realize that he was not the man I thought he was.

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