The rhythm of the train is a roar in my ears and in my body, a visceral rapid-fire low pitched thrum that subsumes me as we barrel into the darkness of the Italian night. It is 5:45 a.m. as I write this and I am encompassed in a steel cocoon, the cabin bright with the sick yellow glare of fluorescent lights that match the grunginess of the interior, the blue vinyl seats and the dated grey floor and walls. A glance out the window mostly shows me a pale reflection of the innards of this beast that is impelling me along the rails to Milan, where my plane will eventually whisk me to Madrid for one night, from whence the next plane will carry me to JFK.
I woke at 430 this morning, packed the last of the purchases, including an extra piece of parmiggiano reggiano that had been the victim of misunderstanding. Yes I am taking more parm home than I had anticipated, but I’m not really torn up about it. I’m fairly certain it will find a use.
The taxi arrived on time for L and B, which was a relief after the fiasco with the dispatcher. That left me alone with my bags, wending my way in solitude through the streets of Bologna walking to the train station, my reverie interrupted at moments by random passers by, equally alone in their isolation, and stray cars careening wildly past, the crescendo whine of their engines betraying their presence well before they could be seen.
The train station was easy as ever, and now I await the next brief leg of this journey excitedly.