a logscribble by hvincent

There's no secret about my location because a live map overlay accessible through the on-train wifi shows a little triangle arrowing towards the sunset. I remember a time when I was stubborn about connectivity on trains. I remember counting on hours and hours of enforced detachment. I can't get to that place in my head on this trip.

A mumuration of starlings circle the last remaining sunlight. There is no mystery to them as to whether the sun will rise again. They are always among friends. Starlings, you don't even belong here. You've made everything you see your home.

Relax, we've got days to go. Literal, actual days. I have a notefile with numbers logged, observing the hours that have passed, translating the minutes into percentages. Sometimes, I count on my fingers. I am 5.1% complete out of a 79.25 hour itinerary. If I take note of the time too carefully, I feel nothing but dread that I'm letting it all slip away.

"Firmly grasp the time," came a constant adage from my father during my childhood. At the same time, he dispensed warnings against spending too much time on one particular task.

"When you are going to bed," my mother added, "think carefully about everything you did during the day, and ask yourself if you're proud of how you spent your time."

I'm not wasting my time. I'm conserving my energy for when it can be better spent in the future. I can never understand the importance of anything I've done until afterwards, far afterwards. If I look at something too much, do I lose it?

It's brighter inside the train than out, now; in the window, my reflection gains opacity. The train still howls; houses face us across backyards, dark windows and shuddering streetlamps blinking through the cold. I mostly see myself, and not much else.