The White Train Ride

By Jacob Awrabi

The blank face across from me stares.

Perhaps we are all empty.
Half empty or half full?
I say optimistically that being half full is the worst.
At this stage one’s mediocre fulfillment blinds the soul from recognizing its equally austere emptiness.

The blank face across from me stares into a smart phone.
Perhaps it is my natural tendency as a contrarian to seek to find the paradoxes in things. Smart phones educate ignorance and grant degrees in division?

The train ride feels like a relic. My expectations of course do not conform to the reality I am experiencing. Nostalgia can be blinding.
I am not boarding the Polar Express.
The summer heat may be God’s way of forcing his disciples to draw near to him. Ripen us so that our fruits may be mellow and sweet. We are green, incomplete and sour. But we all have potential. I pass through the poorest towns of Central California’s San Joaquin Valley. Three hours ago I was riding my bike through 90402.
REALity is relative.

2015. Is it emptiness that is our problem?
For emptiness is relative, like most things nowadays.
The blank face does not speak one word to me; I smile gently and our eyes meet for a fleeting second.
I wonder how blank I appear to be. The connection between us is half full, and only the spoken word can bridge the river of the unknown when two strangers meet. But this void is left unfulfilled.
The blank face masks this void by signing into Facebook, I notice in an observant way. I take it as a signal to do the same.

Do we notice the make up and the dress or the woman wearing it? The nature of the human connection to masks is intriguing but how social media masks are integrated into who we are today remains beyond my realm of understanding. I just know in this moment, I feel blank. A connection was not made. A blank face, a white canvas I will never be able to paint, lost in the beauty of the wind, perhaps shifting in the clouds along with all lost souls of the past, present, and future.

Emptiness is not the problem, rather the answer. Upon awareness, one likely yearns to chase the call of fulfillment. A journey surviving off of hope, faithfully chasing the desires that trace their source to the essence of life, love.
The blank face is not empty, but without eyes, I wonder how many blank faces may never see.

Jacob Awrabi enjoys creative writing as a medium of self expression and hopes to provide unique social commentary through his work.




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