Metro North

You’re on the Metro North Railroad, travelling from Grand Central Station to Stamford, CT, seated facing the rear of the train, neck twisted towards the window on your left. You slip in your earbuds and welcome that Irish genius’s crooning into your blood. Your eyes open and close as the old train wobbles leisurely out of the dim tunnel.

The darkness continues into the city air, the night creeping into day as summer tapers away. Out here the train accelerates and steadies, and two images alternatingly slide through the window: city streets run perpendicularly away from the tracks between slabs of apartment buildings facing each other across city streets between apartments across…. The streets are lined with lampposts and are bare but alive. Out of some unlit corners near the tracks pop bright red LED crosses and coffee cups and showtimes. And nailed high above everything is the moon, almost full, glowing softly behind invisibly thin clouds. The train accelerates again at the edge of the city, over the inky Harlem River. That Irish voice soars higher and higher and upon its wings something familiar rises up inside you.

Everything is very beautiful, you think. You should write it all down, you think, for remembering, for discovering a literary heaviness in it all to ground and guide you. But you get lost in it instead. You forget everything the moment you see it. You feel lighter and lighter and you rise and rise into it. Sprawl out on the moon and breathe it in before it’s all just emptiness and monsters again.