From a bench on the station’s platform, the view and soundscape are exceptional. Marvelous silence bar the crescendo of waves crash-landing on the belly of Long Beach.
The fence dividing shore from station is more a suggestion of the possibility rather than an actual fence. Low cinder blocks matted to a wet-gray by the aqueous arrivals. There are more gaps than actual wall; the gaps themselves are bri
dged with two thin strips of wire. A rudimentary telecommunication system facilitating chatter between the inanimate, perhaps? All in all, the wall, its paucity, rather than revealing poor-workmanship, hints at righteous rebellion: the persons tasked with its erection refusing to obstruct more than necessary the shimmering panorama of multi-blue seawater and auburn beach sand.
Anyhow, the view of green-brown mountains is too immense and forceful to be tamed, being nearly as high as the irritable skies cloaking their true reach.
A mélange of vehicular and human traffic comes to a slouch about your shoulders, akin, like the fence, to a suggestion by a knowing friend. A discomforting, but sufficiently distant reminder of the semantic noise that is the bedeviling crown atop the rude entanglements of everyday life.
I wish for the train to never come.
A persistent hush, monotone serenity, pinches my ears when I emerge from Recreation Records clutching two vinyl discs in a crumpled Pick n Pay packet; the Cannonball Adderley Quintet’sThe Price You pay to be Free and Chet Baker’s Nato Tour LP. The voluptuous quiet spoons me in her arms when I sit down alone on a blue wood bench to wait for the train I’m wish never comes.
She, the quiet, whispers to me the far-away footsteps of sauntering beachwalkers, soothing my anxiety as my eyes search the tracks for the train I wish would never come.
Gazing into the anonymous thoughts of those far-off somnambulists, staring into the minds of those specks walking hand-in-hand near the water, as if at sand particles in a seashell, a “for fuck’s sake” splinters the calm. The broadside blows me out of my lull. Perched on the edge of the next bright-blue bench to my right, an earphoned man in explorer gear, a fellow waiter, grows impatient, willing the train’s arrival with the magnet of his anger.
And just then, the train arrives.