Headspace: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department write about a place or space they go to write, read, study or create. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]
You heard the train before You saw it. “Mind the gap.” She warned You. Staring straight ahead there was no train but a chain of afterimages. “Way too close.” You thought. Space and time were distorted the instant the train swam past You. Your body anticipated and instantly recognised the commotion, tugging, summoning you to come forward.
You didn’t flinch but you knew you had always been on the train. There were moments of clarity, in which you reminisced about a past which didn’t happen, not to you. A past you learned and eventually earned. In your peripheral vision, you watched yourself multiplying. All of You(s) stood in front of the train within the yellow boxes evenly distributed in meticulously measured intervals. The moving train accelerated and dragged along your reflected images. You saw yourself wavered, reminding You of stop motions flickering on a slide projector carousel.
“You are alluding to something always in passing — too big to see really.” She said, half-heartedly. In one step, despite the lies, You crossed the line.
Suzanne Lai is a BA graduate in Stylistics and Comparative Literature (Class of 2014). [Click here to read all entries by Suzanne.]