The Michaelmonger appeared then, down the aisle at a distance, looking sharp and hawking his wares loudly. His voice was fine and I longed for a Michael to talk with, only I lacked exact change and anyway, I was saving what money I did possess for a small browncup of banana tea – yum.
The train lurched from side to side not seeming nearly so rhythmic as I’d hoped. I could creep onto passenger trains but I could not call the beat. Ba ba-dum bum bum.
Outside went by and the plain was black and the sky was black where the stars were hiding. My train shrackled by dead Scotts. Scott Brister, Scott Long, Scott Bouyear, most every dead man I’ve known was named Scott and here they all were: feet sending out shoots through the soil where they stood and not seen in this lamplight from tall train car windows but I knew my Scotts were there all the same. By some other sense, it is supposed. Not smells from their blooming smiling corpses nor buzzes from their bluebottle flies. Something else.
The giraffe lady standing at the window sensed them, too. Had she known Scott Long? I did not ask.
The cut of her blouse which was blue flowers left her back completely exposed and her vertebrae looked like those photographs I’d seen of the Loch Ness monster. Humps into the water, out of the water, into the water, out. Instead of water, skin, it is obvious, and (thankfully) never swimming away. And ripples and a family in a motor boat taking blurry pictures of Nessie. Pointing. Excited and I mean, who wouldn’t be? The frill from giraffe lady’s thin blue blouse blocked my curious view of their motoring off to her scapula.
When her high head burst into floating flaming orbs, it cast a light out into passing environs, revealing rocks, fossilized tree stumps, a bicycle tire, an LP copy of Tears for Fears’ Songs from the Big Chair, a tomato pincushion, Sean Connery, the staircase from my apartment in 1999 and some spark plugs from an old Ford Ranger.
Then she was gone.
The car went dark. Ba ba-dum bum bum.
“There must be some kind of mistake,” I said from my seat in the now-empty train car. “Sean Connery isn’t deceased. And his name’s not Scott.”
The rest of journey passed without incident.