“Rain fell too, on the day they took you from me. It was not like this rain, which struck the dirty window and filled the barren room with its rhythm. That rain was different: flooding my thoughts, and driving me into a frenzy. I supposed that was why they took you from me.” – Jane Waterman, unpublished short story
I’ve been living a very interior life lately. I have the beginnings of feelings, which I shut down. This is the third blog entry I’ve written recently, but the other two remain unpublished. It’s as though to talk of anything, including the subjects of my blog: Sjogren’s or depression, is to be too self-concerned.
It feels like many little tragedies unfold around me every day, but of course, I think it’s not so much the magnitude of the events as my reaction to them. As an introvert, an empath, a sensitive, I begin to dismiss my reactions. Maybe I’m just feeling too much.
Feeling doesn’t seem to be a problem for many people, but for me, there has always been something dangerous in it.
The day I wrote those lines at the beginning of this post, I was about 27. I was sitting on a train departing from Central Station, Sydney. As so many times in my life, I was alone. I was looking forward to the visit, but I was also in that interior place I inhabit. The rain fell on the little sheets of tempered glass with its rounded corners: my silver train a little ship waiting to depart on another journey. I loved riding the train.
So many journeys I took on trains were interior ones. I’d listen to music I only dared listen to alone: music that others would call sentimental or melancholy. I would no longer be that 27 year-old. I’d be my child self on an adventure. With music, I’d have pen and paper, ready to carry me to places that I loved, but it seemed the world did not approve of.
On rare occasions, there’d be a ‘red rattler’ running the line. It wouldn’t be one of those new silver air conditioned trains. The carriages were painted (what I likely inaccurately think of as) gunmetal red, and appropriately, rattled along the Newcastle line. The music of the train crossing the points would be ra-tat-ta-tat, ra-tat-ta-tat, ra-tat-ta-tat.
I don’t know what’s made me think sentimentally about those trains and my old self. Lately, the chronic fatigue with my Sjogren’s is really kicked in, like it was for the first times back then. I spend a lot of time in bed resting these days. I’m sick of resting, but I’m also feeling compassionate to my physical self, and know it needs it. So I rest and I think.
I think about that girl on the train, and the rain hitting the dirt-streaked windows. I wonder why she was roused to a frenzy and who she was taken from. Writing this, the answer comes to me in a sense. I think she was taken from herself.
When I’m able, I’m going to return to the story, return to imagination, and find out how her tale ends.