The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Eight

I woke up feeling contented. I didn’t want to move. He was still asleep. We were both naked on the dirt. Waiting for the right moment to move. He was entirely mine and I was entirely his. The minute I moved, the second I unfroze my body, the moment I became disentangled in his embrace…boom! Lightning struck. I moved. That was the causation. He awoke from his slumber.

“What happened?” He asked

“I don’t know.” I said startled.

The storm has started. I looked to the mountains. They seemed so far. I didn’t know where my clothes were. I couldn’t find them. Nothing was as it seemed.

I rolled over slightly and toward my love.

“Hey,” I said reaching to stroke his back.

“Who are you?” He asked staring through me. His eyes were a stark shade of grey. I didn’t recognize this color. I’d seen his eyes change several shades, but not to this one. I felt a chill move through me. Part of this was because it was cold outside. The rain had started to come. I moved my legs closer to me. I needed to get warm and fast.

“What?” I asked him. I could feel them start to come. The tears. He didn’t remember. He didn’t know what we had just shared.

“WHO are you?” He repeated.

“Louise.” I said. “Do you remember?” I asked as I held my hand over my heart.

“Don’t touch me. Don’t ever touch me!” He shouted. “WHO are you?” He asked.

“Nobody.” I replied. It didn’t matter anymore. He wasn’t going to listen to me. I didn’t matter to him. It was clear that I needed to get out there and fast. He looked at me like I was a piece of trash he’d forgotten to throw out. I felt dirty, sick, unwanted. I started to shake. The rain started to pour down harder and faster. I couldn’t breathe, I needed to move. I pulled my legs closer to me and cried. I couldn’t tell the difference between the rain drops and my tears. They were falling fast, hard strong.

“You need to LEAVE.” He said. “Go.”

“Okay.” I said between tears and rain. There was water everywhere; on me, on the ground, everywhere.

“Forget your name. Forget this happened. Forget me. Forget it all.”

“I will.” I said swallowing my past and tears in one gulp. I quickly located my clothes, and even though they were saturated in rain, I put them on. Green khaki shorts and a tee-shirt.

“I said GO. Why are you still here. Forget this happened. LEAVE.” He yelled.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“No one.” He replied with a smile. “You will never know.”

I started to cry hard. As the tears rolled down my face my body shook. I felt naked even though I was fully clothed. I bent my knees as my heart raced. I propelled myself forward and began to run. I ran and ran into the mountains. I felt the rain on my face and the pain in my body. It surged through me, pushing me forward toward Nirvana or hell or Dante’s Inferno. Forget it happened. Forget your name. I can forget. Forget. Forget. Forget. Forget.


The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Seven

I wanted to understand what he meant. He pointed to the mountain range confidently, like he knew what our destiny was. He did know. He was ready for me and I was ready for him.

He turned to me and looked me deep in my green eyes.

“Let me reintroduce myself as a man with a cause.” He said.

I smiled.

He moved closer to me and continued to undress me, slowly, carefully, with his fingers and his love. He removed my shorts and tossed them to the side. I felt his chest press into me as he gently pushed me to soft brown dirt. He was above me and I was beneath him. I looked into his deep blue eyes as they turned to grey. I could feel him inside me, pressing into me.

“Do you know how much I want you?” He asked

“How much?” I asked.

“More than I can express. More than you will ever know. I need you, I crave you, I breathe you.” I said.

I looked into his eyes and breathed him in. We were one. We were together and nothing and no one could break that. The universe was right. It listened and it knew that we were meant to be together. The stars were above us and the earth was beneath us and that day his soul laid inside me. Everything was right.

I closed my eyes and let us be one together.

When it was over, we lay together, him and I, looking at the stars. I wrapped myself in his arms. He was entirely mine and I was entirely his and it all made sense. We made sense together, like a grammatically correct sentence. The punctuation was right, the syntax was correct, the letters touched each other correctly just like we did. He traced the outline of my face with his hand, which automatically made me smile.

“I love you.” I said.

“And I love you.” He replied without hesitation.

I moved closer to him. Our naked bodies were entwined. I put my head on his chest and breathed him in. I wanted to remember his smell forever. I wanted to take that smell and put it inside me. I wanted to be that smell. It was so much a part of me. Our sentence would make more and more sense as it grew. Words strung together to become longer bigger blocks of text.

My eyelids became heavier and heavier as I slowly fell into a deep comfortable sleep on my love’s chest.


The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Six

The forest was filled with trees and darkness. A cool breeze ran through my body.

I felt his tongue in my mouth and his soul run through me. We were one. I was him and he was me. Together we became a part of each other in that forest. There was nothing I could do to stop it. I wanted it to stop and yet it wouldn’t. He kept giving himself to me fully and I accepted him through the fear I had inside me.

His sandy blonde hair remained in the forefront of my mind. I could smell him, taste him, I knew him, but we had just met. He stopped for a moment and looked me in the eyes.

“I just want to look at you.” He said. “Can I do that?” He asked.

I nodded silently, tears streaming down my face.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“We are in the forest of truth.” He answered “And I am in love with you.”

I smiled, because I knew that he was telling me the truth. We stood there staring into each other’s eyes. His eyes turned from blue to grey to silver to yellow and back to blue again.

“I know what you’re thinking.” I said.

“You do?” He asked.

“Yes.” I replied “You want to be with me in every way.”

“I do.” He said.

He walked over to me and began to unbutton my shorts. I wanted to be with him but it was sudden. As he undressed me he looked into my eyes.

“This is our truth and I love you.” He said as his now grey eyes penetrated into mine.

“I love you too. I have known that my whole life.” I replied.

“I know.” I said. “What is that?” I asked pointing to the mountain range in the distance.

“It’s our future.”

“I don’t understand.” I replied.

“You will in time.” He said confidently.



“My Brother is Brock.” – Guest Post – Anonymous

Dear Dan and Carleen,
I want you and your family to know that I think I understand what you are going through. I know what drove you to write those letters for your son; you wanted to remind the judge, the jurors, and the world that he’s still a person and that he still has a soul. He is not just his crime. I get it. I know, because I have a brother, who’s been accused of bad things, and is currently awaiting a hearing, to decide whether or not he is going to trial. Since he hasn’t yet been convicted, I am not going to go into the charges or detail out what may have happened. I only know that I can tell you I was in shock when I heard he was in jail. When I went online to see what had happened, I could only find a few sparse articles, already with inaccurate information, his mugshot, and people making comments on how his eyes showed he had no soul. My sensitive baby brother, who loved going to the zoo every week, who loved his older sisters and brother, who from a young age has helped to take care of his disabled older brother, and strangers are saying that he has no soul in his eyes. People who’ve never met him who comment on his article.
I know what your family is going through, because my family is going through the same thing. My heart hurts for you.
There is a difference between me and you, between your son and my brother.
My brother has admitted to his wrongdoing, and is remorseful of his actions. In my opinion, he has paid and paid and paid for his mistakes. You say you are not a rich family, and you have a ton of debt between you and your children, yet you could afford a high powered defense attorney, and private investigators, in California, to defend your son and defame his victim’s name. My brother, who is the same age as your son, has a public defender. Your son’s maximum stay will be in County Jail, while my brother is already waiting in maximum security prison for his charges.  His cell mate used his pin number to the phone, and said something wrong on the monitored line, and my brother was punished and denied phone privileges. The guards, decided to play a game one day, and place him in the general population, after he told his public defender about a person who was much much worse than he was, and he was almost killed. He is currently sitting in solitary confinement right now for his own safety- so he can make it to his hearing. Every letter that I write, is monitored, the only thing I can really say is that I love him. Even that is difficult, because I love him but I am so incredibly angry at him, but he needs my support more than anything else right now, so I can’t tell him how angry I even am.
Your family can afford bail. My family cannot.
Your son was convicted of three major felonies. My brother’s charge is one felony (of which he has not yet been found guilty).
Your son gets three months, my brother will most likely get three years.
My brother’s crime did not include any sexual violence. My brother’s victim will not carry an internal scar that can never be relieved.
I am so incredibly angry at my brother, for making the choices that he did, and I still love him unconditionally. It is hard to hold these two disparate ideas in my head, constantly conflicting. I feel horrible about the harm that he inflicted on another human being, and I think that he should pay for what he did. I love him, but I do not love his choices.
That is the difference between me and you.
Your entire family refuses to accept that Brock did a monstrous thing.
You act like he is the one who is wronged, that there was not another person who was irreparably damaged. You bemoan the fact that he can’t eat steak anymore, and that he can’t be a surgeon because he committed rape and got caught. You’re too upset to hang pictures in your home.
I know what you’re going through.
My brother loved going to the zoo, and he loved Zaboomafoo, and he loved Blue’s Clues.
And then, when he was 18 and 19, he fell into a bad crowd, and he made a series of increasingly bad decisions, until he did something horrible and damaging and wrong, and now he’s in jail.
Brock couldn’t play a mean person in a school play. The first time he swam he looked like he was drowning. He loved his uncle.
Your son’s victim can’t sleep at night. She has to get tested for AIDS. Any man she ever loves, she will have to tell him that she was raped. That she was left unconscious and half naked behind a dumpster. She not only had to deal with the trauma of your son’s actions, but she also had to deal with being demonized by your son.
Your son was caught in the act. Red handed. As clearly guilty as can possibly be.
Twenty minutes is an eternity.
It’s an infinite amount of time for someone to stop what they are doing, and try to make the right choice.
My brother is going to learn from his mistakes, and while the next three or four years of his life might be the worst three or four years for him, and for my family, he won’t let it happen again.
Brock didn’t learn anything, and you are only delaying the inevitable.
There’s a difference between your son and my brother.

The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Five

“University of Your Mind?” I asked the blonde man as we rode down in the eerily silent elevator. My face was still flushed from yelling at James and his stupid ponytail. The blonde blue-eyed man looked at me with a ice cold gaze and said:

“What do you think it means?”

“I…don’t know.” I replied slowly.

There was something about this man that made me uncomfortable. He looked like he was in his early 20’s, but had a boyish face. He looked apathetic and emotionless, yet there was something fascinating about him. I wanted to know more about him. The elevator began to slow and stop.

“What’s your name?” I asked the stoic blond man.

“Love is a hell you cannot bear.” He replied.

“What?” I said furrowing my brow.

“My name is not important.” He replied. “Come with me.” He insisted. I had no choice but to follow him. The elevators opened and we were in the marble lobby of James’ building.

“I want to show you something beautiful.” He said meeting my eyes with his icy blue gaze. Chills entered my body in my eyes and flowed down into me. He reached out his hand and took mine without asking. His skin was cool and mysterious; like him. I didn’t even know his name. We walked through the lobby together and out the door. Silently the mystery man and I walked outside into the cool evening summer. It got cold at night since we lived close to the mountains. The mountains…was he taking me to the mountains?

“Promise me.” He said as we walked together on the sidewalk outside of James’ office. My hand was in his.

“Promise you what?” I asked.

“You’ll never let go.” He said cooly.

I was stunned by him and said nothing. I held his hand tighter, pulled by his electricity. He was electric and I had no choice but to listen to him. Together we walked silently off the sidewalk to a dirt trail. There was a woods near James’ office. It was filled with Douglas Fir trees. The smell was intoxicating but all I could focus on was the cool feeling of this man’s hand on mine.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” He asked me as we entered the woods. There were enormous trees surrounding us. It was beautiful but, I couldn’t focus. Something was wrong. I couldn’t figure it out. But, I knew something was profoundly wrong here. Still, I promised him. I promised I wouldn’t let go. I kept my hand in his. We walked and walked. Down the trail. It was beautiful, the smell, the lack of people anywhere. I was all so much to take in. I tried to focus on his hand on mine. I waited for his lead.

He turned to me abruptly. We stood together deep in the woods. His icy blue eyes looked upon me. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t move, couldn’t live. He took my face in his hands and pushed a piece of my hair aside.

“I want you to know how beautiful you are.” He said.

“Thank you.” I said, not knowing quite how to respond.

“No.” He said firmly “You are beautiful, and I want you to know it.”

I could feel them starting to come hard and fast. The muscles in my eyes tensed and I began to cry. Tears flowed out of me freely, soaking my face. I couldn’t stop them. There was nothing I could do anymore.

“I can’t stop.” I said.

“I wouldn’t want you to.” He said as he pulled my face closer to him and kissed me hard on the mouth.

Time stopped.


The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Four

It’s too late. I can’t remember any of it. 

I thought as I sat silently, solemnly next to the elderly man on the cool train to Nowhere. Six hours and thirty minutes left to get to Nowhere. I closed my eyes and tried to remember being in the woods. I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth like James, my mindfulness meditation teacher had taught me. My eyes shot open – I remembered him! James, my meditation teacher. He was the last stop before I walked into those woods. It was a Wednesday evening and I went to see him before…before…I couldn’t remember. But it was 6:35 pm. I was five minutes late to our mindfulness class. I’d been working with James for four months. Despite his pleas for me to be punctual to class, I was consistently five-ten minutes late to class.

“Louise, you understand that when you come late to class your chakras are already misaligned. It takes me longer to help you get centered.” James said visibly annoyed with me.

Wait, what did he say? He said “Louise.” That’s my name. My name isn’t Julia; it’s Louise. I know my name. 

“I’m sorry, James. I’m trying my best. I’m a late person.”

“Louise, if we’re going to help you, punctuality is important. Every moment counts towards your healing.”

I sighed, irritated at his truth. I knew I needed this course. I wanted to combat my demons and the only way was to enter into a mindful state. I needed to confront my pain. But it was difficult to sit with it. I didn’t want to face myself. But I knew I needed to. Be there, be present, look my hurt in the face and acknowledge it.

“I can’t…I can’t fucking do this.” I said shaking my head. “I’m sorry. I can’t.’

“What?” James said his face turing white. “Louise, don’t say that.”

“Don’t say what, James? Stop fucking saying my name like you know me. You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me. You have no idea what I’ve been through. Don’t you dare say my name!” I shouted pointing my finger at the small frail man with a tiny ponytail wearing all white.

“This language is unnecessary.” James said with pursed lips.

“YOU are unnecessary!” I yelled. With that I reached into pocket, grabbed a fist full of money and threw it at him.

James was horrified. His lip quivered but he didn’t speak a word. I stormed out of the white room leaving him behind mystified by my cruelty. I slammed the door, and didn’t look behind me. I ran to the elevator, tears streaming down my face. I didn’t want to remember what had just happened. I rang for the elevator with my pointer finger. I obsessively pressed the button until my finger burned.

“Are you going up or down?”

I turned around to find a tall man with sandy blond hair standing next to me. He was wearing a grey tee-shirt with red letters that read “University of Your Mind.” I didn’t know if that was meant to be facetious. It didn’t matter. None of it mattered including me. I didn’t matter.

“Down.” I said.

He nodded silently.

“There’s a beautiful trail around here. Have you seen it?” He asked me.

“What?” I replied.

“I said the woods are beautiful around here. Do you want to go for a walk?”

“No.” I said.

“Yes you do.” He commanded.

“Okay.” I said sullenly.

So I followed him into the elevator.


The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Four

How could I “put the past away?” I wondered. By the time I’d gotten to the dark train station, there wasn’t much left of my past. I’d forgotten my “real name.” I was Julia now. He took all that from me. He ripped me of my innocence. He stole what was once mine and I forgot my body, my name, my blood type and where I lived. I can’t tell you where I’m from because he took all of it from me and I will never get it back. But the old man told me to put the past away. I don’t have a drawer for my past. Here I was sitting on this train headed to Nowhere and there was no past file cabinet. Do they make storage containers for the past? I’d like one of those.

I swore I wouldn’t tell anyone what happened to me that night in the woods. The good thing is that I can’t remember where those woods were or if they were even real. They were real in my mind when he took everything I had and made it his. I can’t remember his face. If I could only remember his face then I would be able to tell someone.

“Tickets please.” The train conductor materialized and stopped my thoughts. He was wearing a blue hat and uniform but his face was as gray as my mood.

I rustled through the pocket of my shorts and found the crumpled green ticket that read “Nowhere” in bold black letters. The conductor was visibly irritated with his pursed lips as if I was taking forever to give him the ticket. My hand trembled as I handed him the ticket. He didn’t seem to notice.

“How long till we get to Nowhere?” Barked the elderly man in the seat next to me. Some dust flew off his hat.

“Seven hours sir.” Said the conductor.

Seven hours to think about what happened to me in those woods. Seven increments. Seven hands, seven feet, or was it one hand and seven fingers? I don’t know. I can’t remember. Remember what happened. I will dig deeper into the caverns of my mind and I will bring myself back to life.

It’s not too late.




The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Three

I cried so hard that I could see. I wiped the tear festival from my eyes and took a deep breath in. I could feel the coolness of the artificial train air conditioning on my face solidifying my tears against my face. I briefly glanced out the window again only to see that it had become morning. I’d been crying for long that the next day had happened. There was a deep green path outside with no human beings anywhere. No telling where I was or where we were going.

Nothing I knew to be true was true. I didn’t even have a name. Julia was something I named myself because I’d forgotten everything about myself. I had no purse, no backpack, no ID. So here I was on this train headed to Nowhere. I’d lost myself and I could figure out how to get her back. All I could do is go.

It was time for me to find out who I was and I figured that Nowhere was just as good a place as any to do that. Plus there were no scheduled trains coming after the train to Nowhere.

“What are you reading?” I asked the elderly man next to me with a sniff. I had no tissues so I wiped the snot from my nose on my arm.

I wanted to understand why his newspaper was so old. It wasn’t even from this century.

His hat was black but covered with a subtle layer of dust.

He looked up from his newspaper, turned to me and locked eyes with me. His eyes were icy blue. His gaze disarmed me and yet I felt as if I couldn’t look away from him. He had frozen me and I was stuck in my seat looking into his eyes. They transfixed me to the point where I was unable to do anything but stare back and attempt to keep my breathing level.

After what seems like an eternity, the elderly man opened his pursed his lips and spoke:

“Put the past away.” He said all the while keeping his gaze up me.

The air got colder.

My soul felt lonelier.

And I knew that I would find my answers when I got to Nowhere.

nowhere train grass

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