Maybe it was the vodka, or perhaps it was the lack of sleep, but today my journey seemed decidedly different.
Why it felt different I found hard to answer: It wasn’t that the process of the journey was different, although I was caught off guard by the ticket collection machine being locked in an unmanned building, no it was something else. Most things were the same, familiar and unmoving, the station here had silently watched more heartbreak and joy of mine than would be plausible in a weekly sitcom, it had seen foreign crushes leave my small town world to jet away, it too had seen the beginning of all my expeditions across europe, it was the thoroughfare of my worlds, an unmoving bridge between a secluded rural life and the world beyond. I enjoyed the duality of that life, love and heartbreak, comfort and the unknown, I enjoyed cultivating these as part of myself, the mystery of hidden worlds captured my imagination as much as foreign girls often captured my heart, it was a romantic weakness and one I kept as a means of adventure.
Nothing captured these feelings like the bridge at the edge of the station, my journeys often began betwixt morning and night, a time outside of time and movement, the curtain of night may have withdrawn but in it’s place hung the veil of fog, this fog manifested itself under the bridge, creating a soft wall which stood as the boundary of my small world, what wonders stood beyond the wall? Everything, true freedom! The fruits of the world! for as little as your monthly phone bill one could pierce this veil and answer the questions of the world, are all swedish girls blond? Is Paris as beautiful as they say? Is Budapest really the new cultural captial of europe? It cost almost nothing to be a wide eyed traveller.
Today felt different perhaps because I felt I was less 007 and more a piece of shingle subjected to the whims of the tide, I shuffled into the black coat ranks of coffee drinking business men and women and subjected myself to talk of profitability and business, I had as little choice as them, even my last minute booking didn’t afford me the feeling of control that usually spits at timetables. no, today I HAD to leave, I wasn’t moving on a whim, today I was pulling my feet back to the south of Germany, home of Dichter und Denker, home of the beautiful black forest, home of late night work, It was a journey of conflicted thoughts and begrudging farewells, an uneasy transition between homes, but a necessary one.