The cellphone was ringing out, he had no intention of answering. But he got up, he was late. The crackling of the punk-hardcore ringtone was coming, muffled, from a pile of dirty clothes on the ground. He started digging. He put his shirt back on, then the hoodie, it was cold. The ringtone stopped abruptly, the time was up. He also put on a jacket. He slammed the door. A dog started barking.
They didn’t have to understand it, how much he wanted things to have gone differently. They did not have to feel it, the nostalgia of a future that never arrived, which permeated his unfriendly tone.
What a rush he had. And where was he going. He was leaving a house, to go to another house. Another one. The same tasteless shit. He shivered, and raised his hood as he walked quickly down the sidewalk.
The phone started screaming again, he ignored it.
The famous saying about the three women in your life. To make his story work, he would have to use multiples of three. His ruin and his salvation.
Perhaps he had had a reason to run. In the distance, the train’s cold whistle signaled that he would have to wait for the next one. And so he did, blowing on his numb hands, ignoring the badly recorded song that regularly made itself heard from his pocket.
It arrived, finally. The train. Perhaps the only real home he had ever had.
He was climbing up when the song, self-produced by some poor guy in a shitty basement, started up again. He didn’t get upset, and calmly pulled his cell phone out of his trouser pocket. He looked at the name on the screen. As if it mattered. He ignored it, and gently placed the phone on the track below him, right in front of one of the train wheels. And he went up.
Home. The place where you can take off your jacket, where to place your backpack on the next seat. And not to save her one.
A dull sound followed by the sparkle of some pieces of metal on the platform, marked the end of the cellphone and the departure of the train.
This is the place where you can stretch your legs. Where you can take a nap, lulled by the beat of the tracks. Where to relax while watching the landscape rush past the window, where you can listen to some music or read a good book.
A place to recharge your cell phone battery. If you have a phone.
But ‘home’ in his life was something extremely relative. And the day was not over yet, no matter how dark it was. But hey, he was in a hurry. He thought he was going places.
His bunch of keys, more and more full of hopes. Increasingly charged with confidence, with expectations. He took the ones he didn’t need, and hid them at the bottom of the backpack. Their rattling made him grimace, he didn’t want someone to hear. He decided to ignore that noise too, and realized that with a cellphone he could have warned of his arrival. As if it served something.
Let me be clear, it’s not like he didn’t know who to call. He simply walked in the back door as befits those pretending to be in one place. He greeted cordially, they didn’t have to understand how much he wished that things had gone differently. He asked immediately if there was something he could do, like any self-respecting brown noser. There was, he did it. It was enough for them not to talk. Because they didn’t have to feel it, the nostalgia of that future that never arrived that permeated his voice. No one had to, he couldn’t afford it.
Because you know, as soon as they discover your cards, it’s enough for them to corner you. Even if they don’t want to. If you have any secrets, keep them for yourself. Trust me, it’s better.
I mean, it’s not like he didn’t know where to go. Perhaps, he didn’t know just where to stay. But that, that was another story. The umpteenth long story that ended up getting lost in some badly written lines. As always.
He didn’t know how he got there, but he was huddled on the cold floor of the balcony, staring at the sky. The sky, perhaps the only real roof he had ever had above his head. His eyes grew wet as it began to snow.