After considerable preparation, the train swiftly departs, that is slow and silent, Swiss. I am on it finally, yes we are on it, myself in my father’s puffy jacket and Chinese blue sweatpants, and my roomate in a black baggy sport thing. Outside the window, orange clad train line builders are laying pipe, they see me no doubt almost waving in excitement to signal that their day is nearly done. What a true day of work will do for a cold flailing creature or a sinking soul in the lake of gloom. Yesterday with my black bag packed with pencils, hair creme, loose socks, and the Masquerade*, I walked down the long loose steps of my den but the bus drove by, had I lost count of the time? In an unusual calm, I said ‘Fuck it.’
I went back up the steps and cut a piece of mountain cheese for Tim, my roomate,and myself. Will nothing satisfy this little Timmy?! Though the cheese is welcomed with a vagrant nod, never a ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’ or even a ‘danke.’
I miss my stop. But to speak in truth, I have no stop. I just get off when the greyness outside is right. The further the better.
Now it’s right.
And was it the day before yesterday that I tried to take a boat to Vitznau but was similarly thwarted by one Phill Collins. I didn’t get the boat, didn’t even make it to the street. I can remember the last time I saw a human, it was .. in another land dancing in long flower robes with my boyhood friends and Sugar Magnolia dressed all in forest pheasant feathers, drummers, horsemen, wild mustache uncles, marigold, fading red tattoos, hoisting up the groom, singing, drinking in the windy rhapsody. If I never say goodbye to this cheerful memory, everything can remain as a dream.
What were you doing, Timi, while I was dancing like a dizzy kingfisher?? Were you stealing my risotto in your own private heaven?
Isolation: Well we all come home to isolation in the end.. or
Do our dreams or ardent devotion invent a caravan that circles the fire in our heart? Hungarian violins, mothers, beloved gypsies, ramshackle dads, ancestors, Uncle Fritz with a bejeweled staff..
Are we indeed ever alone?
I’ll spare you the trudging details of my brief time in Alpnachstadt Dorf Inn, such a cold reception, a weak schwarz tee, 5 francs, Phill Collins all over the blasting jukebox. Staring at the bottles all around me, we were like two old friends who no longer have a thing to say. When I thought it time to relieve myself, they sent me outside. Some Dorfs you know from the moment the train doors close, just aren’t there for you. Georgetown, Tuscaloosa, Dubuque, and sadly, quite a few more.
Later, after the sun moves imperceptibly, I am walking the road up to Pilatus Kulm, rising deep into the Baltimore fog, which chases or precedes me. Again the orange workers see me, singing- but who really cares if I seem a fool or wanderer of simple thoughts, singing about noble outlaws and blackberry pie, torkeling into the mist?
Under the splendid stone bridge we traipse into the woods, yodeling our stark and fervent farewell. Nothing will actually prepare you to be released, nothing but the doors of the cage opening. In Silent Perpetuity, names are softly whispered high above the town smoke, almost entering the low cloud, the entire valley stranded.
I lift the door and in a voice of an assuring friend, say ‘You are free’ and without a word of reproach or obligation, Thankless Tim bounds into the blackberry bush.