Where have we been?.. Lettuce Sea.. say it out loud, I’ll wait…
She stared at the blank page until it had passed from being simply a new beginning into a mocking reminder that she was at a loss for words. The typewriter sat unmoving upon the desk unmoved by the howling storm just outside the cabin. Nor was it concerned with the even greater storm raging inside it’s owner’s mind. No, the typewriter just sat there with the blank page lined up inside it’s glossy black frame. If it could will itself into voice the typewriter would be saying, “I’m here friend. Let’s do this.”
The wind outside rattled the window it’s attempts to come inside from the cold had not diminished all morning. The storm was one of the worse she could recall. She turned her attention from the window and looked at the typewriter, “Well old friend it’s about time we got something done.” She said to her steel friend.
Taking a drink of her coffee which had a taste she could only imagine being that of used motor oil diluted with diesel and the smallest hint of milk and sugar. Grimacing as she sat the cup on the desk she turned back to the typewriter. Clak. Clak. Clickity clak clak click clickity clak, she was off.
As she wrote she didn’t pause as to what to write. She wrote of her adventures. The time she was set upon by Mongol horsemen south of Tibet. When she almost drown in Suez onboard that freighter. She even wrote about the time she was deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest and thought she wasn't going to make it back out. When she had finished she took the stack of pages and looking at them briefly tossed them unceremoniously into the fire.
She didn’t dare send her manuscript. “They’ll never buy it.” She said out loud to the empty cabin. Thinking to herself, “At best they’ll call me a liar with a powerful imagination. And worst, they’ll see me a fool who does things the hard way.”
After watching the pages burn until nothing was left of her adventures but ash and regret she looked toward the window and began to daydream again…
“I don’t remember when I began to lose my faith.” She said to no one really. She said it more to herself as if she were trying to talk out the answer in a game of trivia.
“You lost it somewhere between hiding who you are and trying to be who they wanted.” The old man told her as he got up from across the way to come sit by her side.
“What? were you talking to me?” she asked as the man sat down.
“Don’t you think it odd a bus station empty but for the two of us? And on a Tuesday afternoon?” He replied not answering her question. “Normally this place would be loud and busier than a beehive what with everyone trying to get here or there.” The man continued. “How is it that you happen to enter an empty bus station?” Was his query to her.
“I… I don’t know. I mean I do know that I came to wait for the next bus out of this backward town.” She answered.
“Off to make your mark on the world? aren’t you a bit old to be running away from home?” The old man quizzed her once again.
“I left my mark a long time ago. I think I was just looking to leave.” she spoke not towards the man but more towards the floor. Before she was even finished with her thought she had became quiet. She wasn’t really certain herself why she was sitting in a rundown empty bus station waiting for a bus that she was beginning to realize wasn’t coming. “Where am I going? Where is here for that matter?” She mumbled to herself. The old man sat next to her and watched her stare at the grimy floor for awhile. He could see it in her face, she was counting the tiles forgetting her place in all of this. He knew the moment she sat down that she didn’t remember why she had came, they never do. People just come count the tiles for awhile try to remember then either leave the way they came or a bus arrives.
After what felt like the afternoon gave itself over the the evening the old man interrupted her mumbling. “You said you already left your mark on the world. Was it all you hoped it would be? If you could would you change it?” She looked up startled. All the time she was oblivious to the old man sitting beside her.
“I thought you had left.” She said her eyes red and puffy as though she had been crying all day.
Handing her a handkerchief to wipe her eyes the old man asked, “Well. Would you do things different if you had the chance to change it?..”
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