Black is the color of a strangled rainbow.
The train glides with an unusual grace as cool morning droplets of dew pursue a skipping downward coarse along the wide window next to me. I look out over the stillness of the sound. The distant short, lightly cloaked in a disintegrating mist. Above, the full moon still shines brightly, watchful maybe, defying rebelliously the oncoming rise of the sun.
The tide has come and erased the shore. Here and there ducks coast, content and unafraid. Familiar landmarks are submerged. In the distance, a lone, small boat cruises; I can barely make out two figures. I imagine they’re bundled up against the early chill. There’ll be no sea lions on their floating platform this morning.
We pull into the next station, the connectors between the cars squeaking and growling. The train is remarkably empty for it being the last train of the morning. A pair of friends on the far side of the car have been chatting quietly to each other; that combined with the constant exhale of the air conditioning has been remarkably pleasing.
A dozen people board. They look dazed. They move slowly. Most of them aren’t yet fully awake. They take their seats, some uncertain as to which they should take, and the train pulls out again.
There are two sherriffs or deputies on board. They’ve walked the cabin twice. I’m irrationally nervous.
‘You want to take position up here?’ A voice behind me asks. I don’t hear an answer.
I didn’t sleep much last night. Insomnia happens sometimes. I expeted to be more tired and irritable this morning but, instead, I feel peaceful. It’s been increasing in that direction. The days have gotten easier, the toiling depression slowly relenting from its vocation, a sense of a new normalcy infiltrating this pourous state of affairs.
I wanted to be angry but I could never latch on to any. When I was younger, anger was my sanctuary. When I felt like I had gotten too out of control over the past few months, I resolved myself to find that black emotion and make ruthless use of it. But it remained elusive; a ghost from my past who also wanted as little to do with me as possible. When anger did come, like the sky unexpectedly and loudly clearing its throat on a clear day, it was flash of potassium on cool water: a bright and fleeting spark.
Instead of angerr, I often feel empty. Although empty isn’t necessarily the right word because ‘empty’ in terms of emotions has a negative connotation. It’s a peaceful kind of emptiness. But it’s all too easy to mistake it for a sense of defeat, of resignation, of failure. Maybe it’s acceptance. If so, then it’s definitely not a negative kind of emptiness. Maybe it’s emptiness in the sense of Bodhidharma. That, too, is definitely not a negative kind of emptiness.
I know, though, like those ended snarls of anger, this feeling too will soon slip away to be replaced by another. And then another. And then another.
I am in a room with no doors. I sit down.
• • • • •
I was wrong: there were three of them, those slippery majesties.