Nobody knows what time it is or where we are.

The iPad says it’s April 4th and it’s 11:40 am, but I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. First of all, we’re somewhere in the French countryside and we’re supposed to be pretty close to being in Paris except all I see are yellow flowers and green rolling hills. Some of them might be a little bit brown, but the TGV is going so fast anyway that it all melts into a blurry of colors: green, yellow, brown and every shade in between.

One thing that I’ve discovered in my wanderings is that sometimes I’m not where I think I am. I know that makes me sound like I should stop traveling and instead find a good psychotherapist, but it’s a feeling I enjoy. I’m not even sure if it’s a good feeling, but feelings are never just good or bad. We make feelings out to be something exact that we can pinpoint when they’re really laid on a multi-faceted spectrum.

Then why we feel the way we feel? Well, that’s in another dimension.

Sometimes I’ll wake up and be 5000 miles away from where I think I am. Today I woke up and thought I was in London. Then I thought about it and knew that couldn’t be right. I was thinking in French, so I had to be in France.

There’s a woman sitting in front of me and the way she holds her face, her wrinkles, her rings. Everything about her makes her so beautiful. She’s
incredibly and hopelessly lost in her feelings, so much so that she seems to have just fallen out of poem.

She should be a painting.

I would call her, “Anguish,” but that wouldn’t be right. Maybe “Lost in Herself on a TGV”? That could be a working title.

I wonder if she knows where she is, I wonder about her life and wether or not she’s married? Is she retired? Did she enjoy her job? Is one of those rings from a husband? Are they all from different lovers? Or maybe they’re all family heirlooms, maybe she got them from un marché aux puces.

What kills me is I can’t ask her. If I ask her, the magic would evaporate.

I’ve taken a mental picture of her. She doesn’t know. It wasn’t her beautiful pose from earlier, but she looks lovely nonetheless. Resting her head against the view of the banlieues, racing by.

I think only older people can be beautiful, truly beautiful I mean.

I do believe that everyone possesses their own beauty and everything, but I think it goes deeper than that…

I think maybe we’re all born looking the way we do and no matter how fat or purple we look at birth (aka me) you grow into yourself. I think what makes people really beautiful is the test, or maybe the adventure of age. The way our experiences seem to carve themselves into our face, forming crows feet and laugh lines, it’s what becomes embedded in those wrinkles that makes someone beautiful.

Take someone like my grandmother (my namesake and one of my best friends) who carries her age and therefore her beauty, better than anybody else I have known.

Oh? Now I see more trains, trains sad in their stillness and it means our journey is coming to an end.

More writing to come on the next train.


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