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Travelogue F1

June 29, 2015

Like most of my transatlantic ramblings, this one began in the early hours, early enough that the sun’s very presence proved a surprise. I broke my fast on iced tea, which numbed my throat, and the last cherries gleaned from the tree across the way. The morning was cool but pleasant, as I counted out my coins for the shuttle to a national rail station in the country. Rather than stow my things below in the hold, I kept them on my person, not out of fear but a desire to be ruled by my things in a way that others are not. For those who store below are no less burdened by their things than I, yet I can see and heft mine at any moment. So my own is ever visible and my shoulders aware, giving some small power back over my things, already packed to a minimum, and of which I have made an art.

I took a front seat and listened to no music at this stage, not wishing to dispel the early morning’s false calm. I watched the distant hills roll by, interrupted by the occasional village, complete with stocky medieval church tower. At one point, a sign suggested the presence of a 15th century castle, lost to fog this morning and whose persistence thus took on an ambiguous character. In all of us, voices babble, the child without object permanence maintaining like the skeptic fifty years its senior, that the castle had ceased to exist, the idealist that it held true so long as did our thoughts. In any case, it was lost to me in the valley.

My train arrived shortly. As is my habit with trains in France, I made use of a mnemonic device to retain my seat number: making of wagon and seat number a given year in French history, which then corresponded either to a given event or someone or other’s reign or even to some more fictional happening. What will be my conceit this time?

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