I had a train of thought earlier that I can no longer board. But trains… hm… So much of my life has been spent on trains. Weeks and weeks worth of time. I think now of the train to Valencia, dangerously hungover and fleeing Madrid, crashing after twelve hours of liquor and cocaine in the Plaza Mayor, no phone, no money, separated from Chris and stranded out in the orange fields. How unreal my journeys, how unbelievably holy my divine protection. My guardian angel must be prematurely gray and workaholic, if not alcoholic and insane.

Orange Grove in Valencia

I think of the train back from Long Beach, that most clear day and night in which Maxine and I became bound together. It was a sacred covalence, a sharing of the charged particles of our being. And the sunset of this day — the cloudless sky stretched over the bay and settling from hues of blue into a drunken fuchsia. We were in kayaks, bobbing along in the cool, tranquil water like the planets bobbing in the fabric of space, with cigarette smoke in the air and soft music lazily drifting toward us. Who wouldn’t fall in love? But the train ride! As we sat in the soft lull of an easy hangover, strange sights flowing by, she lay her head on my shoulder and went to sleep. Such a simple, pure, intimate act that led us to love…

I think of the nightmare trains of the horrific drunken, drugged nights of a few years back. These abominable slingshots from one end of the five boroughs to the other formed the ugly backdrop of the most difficult time of my life. And through it all, an ethereal deliverance. How I have not yet lost everything I own, how I have not yet been mugged or killed, how I have not yet been beaten or arrested for the various petty and offensive crimes only the blind drunk can conjure, how I have not yet become loathed by all the beautiful friends I’m lucky enough to be loved by, and how I have not yet been stricken down by the almighty god is so far beyond me that the question circles the universe and appears once more at my feet.

The Fall of Phaeton, Adolphe Pierre Sunaert

I carry it with me now, this blessing from on high, like a prayer or a talisman. I am the luckiest person alive, for I have it better than three-fourths of the planet and have the good sense to laugh and shrug at the other quarter. I am the worst person alive, for I have so often committed the great sin of taking this ridiculously beautiful life for granted. I have spurned, spited, and spit in the face of the god force of my sweet existence. But, now, I am elated. Tomorrow I’ll feel the complete opposite way, because that is my way, but it doesn’t matter what came before or what comes next. Only now, and now I am rapturous.

I assume that, given the empyrean light of my present life, I will suffer profoundly in the next. But that is alright! My soul, satiated as the fatted calf, will be ready for slaughter.




To meditate on the warmest dream

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Ryan Langan

Ryan Langan

To meditate on the warmest dream

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