As so many people around the US are experiencing another chilling dance with Winter, this week’s Mid Week Blues Buster took me to somewhere warm and comfortable. The song had an extra challenge to it, with no actual lyrics, but it was still a very nice song to write for.
Here’s a link to the song: Rodrigo y Gabriela
She sat there as we all waited for the train, her smoldering eyes burning into my soul, then moving on to leave impressions on the hearts of the next body in the throng. She seems to have packed very little, just a long bag leaned against her legs heavily. She notices me staring, and then smiles at me. Nothing gentle hidden in that smile, but not unkind either. Her eyes are fierce and calm, with answers to the questions floating among the stars kept safe and secret beneath thick lashes.
Around the corner, a train engine’s rhythm starts to echo, a wave of sound that carries through the crowd and disturbing the stillness of waiting. Anticipation lights up the faces of dozens of travelers, as their vacations or loved ones become one step closer. The woman grabs her bag, and stands. Grasping the hand of a nearby man as they pass, she stands in line for the front of the passenger car. He weaves into the crowd headed for the back of the same car.
As we dutifully crawl on, the woman slides gracefully into the very front seat. A few rows back, I manage to find a seat where I can keep looking at her and her smooth dark skin showing around a black shawl. With a lurch, the train starts to pull out of the station. The air starts moving through the railcar, no longer stiflingly warm, and along the way picks up a hint of morning desert blooms, mixing with the various smells of people mixing. The scents are sweet and sour, and constantly changing.
Shortly after, the woman fiddles with her bag, pulling out something large and dark, shining in the sunlight slanting in the window. Above the noises of the train, a melancholy song rises up, notes pulled from the strings of a guitar. No words come with it, but the notes are carefully placed to speak of joy, loss, and desperation straight to the heart. The crowd goes silent, engrossed in the hypnotic song. In my mind, the song takes me to a villa in the springtime, lanterns burning and dancers twirling, before meeting my fondest love under the moonlight.
So wrapped up in the entrancement am I, that the stranger has to nudge me twice to get my attention. Looking over, I see a pistol pointed straight at me, over a simple bag half filled with wallets and jewelry. Never speaking, he places the bag right in front of me, waiting for me to make my offering. I almost don’t mind placing my wallet inside, just so he’ll leave and I can return to the music. He continues to the last few passengers before reaching the woman, and she stands. As the train slows to take a turn into the canyon of our destination, she takes her guitar and steps gracefully off of the train. He follows immediately, and silence descends on the railcar just as we pull into the station.
Police are waiting for us at the station, and roughly take us off the train, disrupting the spell of tranquility over the crowd. Angry voices rise to fill the silence as officers ask questions and passengers demand answers. When the officers come to get my description of the robbers, I try to remember any little detail. Think of anything that will help. The only features remaining, though, are those dark mesmerizing eyes and the song that she wove as we trundled down the tracks. From the frustration of the police, everyone seems to be similarly forgetful. Some officers even accuse us of collaborating, but someday they’ll see. They’ll finally meet her, and become lost in those eyes as well, a lifetime lived the too short a time they are together.