Part1 (First Night)
The old man was on time for the train. A Huge crowd of the station and its boiling fuss covered him immediately. That avoided him to send a farewell staring to the city Kazan for a nostalgic end. But that led him to forget his sadness for a while until he has entered his private compartment. As soon as the door closed, the noise of the station cut off. Except for the snarl of a power plant that was such a cat sound, it was silent. There was a hot rush behind the huge window of the cabinet.
He sat at the unique table near the window and started to observe crowded with weary eyes. He thought about the woman he had left long years ago. It was a profound sneaky feeling that forced him to sleep immediately. He resisted not to. He was sure that if he slept, he would be already too far from Kazan when he woke up. He wanted to wait until the last moment of seeing the fading lights of the city. It was his style to have such theatrical separations. That was helping him to put all his memories in order quickly and, sure, to remember them well.
Train quaked suddenly, and the view from the window started to slide aside slowly. When the train reached its cruise speed, and when all lovers’, relatives’ and friends’ of passengers’ eyes closed with hopeful wishes, sadness covered the heart of old man. He merged with that feeling and searched a way to hold it comfortably. He took a bottle out of his bag and prepared a gin tonic. It was without ice and lemon, as he hates to drink alike. He was not an alcoholic. He hated the taste of it indeed. He just liked the effect of it; how it let him shut the whispers up of his inner world when melancholia finds him.
After the second glass, all the lights in the dark, behind the huge window turned to look like fireflies. It was the point to stop for him. It was hot in the cabin, and his white face got wet, but his soul was feeling cold. It was his profound loneliness that shivered him. He was ready to hold it as he holds all others. He took off his clothes, tidy them carefully on other bed beside and moved to shower. Shower cabinet was too narrow. But it was clean and with calming smell of pine aromatic soap on the shelf. He was lucky that he was in shape. Warming touch of hot water covered his old skin. It was not same as a touch of the woman he had loved. But it helped him to recover a bit.
He was checking his notes on the table after the shower when conductor knocked the door. The conductor was tall, blonde and a young guy. He had a pale but warm face with white teeth smiling. The old man could read his name on his dark blue costume: Arthur.
-Good night Sir.
-May I see your tickets, please?
-Here they are.
-Will you travel lonely the whole route?
-Well. Are you aware of the train travel policy?
-For any case, I need to remind you that we don’t have flexy ticket procedure and you may not have a stop at any city unless you pay for the other separate tickets. Please be sure that you will not miss any train in any short stops.
-I know, thank you.
-The restaurant car will be open until 1 o`clock. Then you can just find hot drinks on this wagon. And if you need something else, please let me know. I will be at the end of the corridor, near samovar.
-Thanks a lot.
“Rules mean rules,” he thought after Arthur went out. But he liked the kindness of the guy. His reminding about restaurant made old man think about food. He wore Italian cut dark blue trousers and short ridged, slim fit, loose blue shirt. They were not suited for a long train journey, but he hoped to hide his age with clothes. Not that he was not at peace with his age, but he wanted to accept that it is not a, too late travel, in his life.
He walked in corridor opposite direction of the train`s nose. All first class doors were closed, and hallway lights were bothering eyes with their shine. In every second wheel of the train was making a sound like a clock tic-tac. Due to intense light, all windows were just dark and were showing the picture of first class doors. That was creating a perfect symmetry until the end of the corridor. He met the Arthur at the end of the hall. He was busy to arrange samovar. A young, cute and gorgeous looking girl was waiting near her to get something. He passed them without bothering their attention on samovar.
Three guys were smoking heavily at hall between 2 wagons. One of them was as big as a hockey star, and it was sure that there was no suit sized bed for this guy in the whole train. Others were usual, but one of them was smelling garlic more than smoke. They looked at the old man with humiliating eyes. Or old man just felt it by sense. When he entered the other wagon, he almost hit a girl who just went out of the restroom. He was rapid not to hit her but close enough to feel the heat of her body. The girl looked him strangely. The old man noticed the fear in her eyes and the mode how she waits for danger by anybody and her protection instinct. The girl was beautiful with long dark hairs and white fresh looking face. She smelt citrus and black pepper. He said sorry, with his softest voice and for showing her that he is not a danger to her, he passed her immediately. The new wagon was full of people. Here all sounds, smells, and views had been mixed with each other. In the narrow corridor, he had to be part of that mixture somehow. He met an old man, then a guy, then an old woman, a group of young, then blue eyes, dark hairs, young faces… “It is impossible to set privacy here,” he thought. Before the journey, he was hoping to be isolated by all. He wanted to just observe around, at one point like a Hellenic God who watches people by his place above clouds. In contrary, that crowd helped him not to feel lonely. When he realized this, he relaxed a bit and reached restaurant car with a good mood.
Restaurant car was full of people too. Many tables were occupied, and almost all groups were eating, drinking and speaking loudly. Two waiters were running between tables with their dark blue skirts and white shirts, and an average aged fat pink faced man was organizing them with his gestures. Here the population was international. There were all type, all color and all kind of people in.
After a short search, the old man found an empty seat near the entrance. From his position, he could see all the restaurant car and its colorful rush. Not more than 3 minutes, one waitress reached his table. She gave him the menu, and with same fast steps, she moved away. It was enough for the old man to read her name and felt her sandal tree smell. He looked at the menu which has been covered with photos of foods. It was Russian. He could ask for an English version just to feel the smell of waitress again. But he had enough Russian and experience on Russian foods. He saw a photo of his favorite soup Salyonki. He was sure that it would not be as delicious as it looks like on the picture. But his tongue was not as sharp as his nose anymore.
Besides hot Salyonki, he ordered piroh with cheese. Waiter girl warned him that the piroh was not fresh and for fresh piroh best time is to wait for morning stops of the train. It was not a big problem for old man, and he thanked the girl with his best Russian. Even she had tired eyes and bored face; she smiled him back kindly. That reminded him one of his Russian lovers. Their smiles were not same, but he noticed that he had missed her deeply. That distracted his focus that he started to eat carelessly. Just then he noticed that drops from his spoon had spoiled his shirt. With same careless reaction, he asked the waitress who was just passing by his table.
-Excuse me. Could you bring me wet towels, please?
Before he finished his words, he recognized that she was not the waiter, but a girl with a white shirt. He was too slow to excuse her when he was already in shock of her stern words.
-What kinda fuckin waiter am I lookin like! Man!!
Girl`s words disappeared in the crowded as she disappeared herself. She was looking in a rush to catch something important. The old man could not reply him anyhow and looked at her meaninglessly with his tired eyes. Just then he could remember the detailed image of the girl. She had short dark hairs and snow white face. Apart of her hairs were colored neon green and cherry red. A black and white butterfly tattoo piece was seen underneath her collar on her neck. One of her ears was full of earrings and when she shouted the old man a black piercing was seen on her right eyebrow. “Waitress” was the last thing that the girl could have been called. Just her white shirt had confused him about her. The old man felt stupid, even though he had been insulted by her words. He left his foods all there. He paid them with over standard tips and walked back to his cabinet. He passed same crowded wagon and met same smoking guys in the hall. Garlic man was gone. Arthur was chatting with a man with their silver holder tea glasses on their hand. He passed them like a ghost and reached his cabinet. He was in a hurry to be able to notice Arthur`s attention on him. He got in, took off his dirty shirt, prepared a gin tonic and sat on the table. Once more he felt cold. “Cold is crueler for lonely people,” he thought.
He laid on a bed covered with a blanket; he was sure that it would not help his shivers. But it was better than nothing. He curled up on his right side. With the image of his all past women, he closed his eyes to the world of darkness…
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