In the vestibule between train cars, the evening air hung hot and wet but no longer blazing. The wind of the fast train washed over Jay as he held onto the rails of the open doorway at the side of the vestibule, half-standing, half-hanging out of the train.
That didn’t happen, he thought. It was just a story. A story I’ve left behind, just like the rest. No more Jade. No more Rucksack. No more legends. No more destiny. I’m free.
He stared into the darkness as the train rushed through the night. What lay at the end of the line but another city, more pubs, more sights to see already pawed over by throngs of Swedes, Israelis, and Australians, all carrying Guru Deep guidebooks? More taxis and hostels, more questionable food and water, more touts...
No more, Jay thought.
Clouds had gathered over the countryside. The air felt damp, heavy, and charged. Off in the blackness, flashes of brown lightning made the world shine. For a moment, the skin of existence had faded away, revealing something beneath, like an everlasting brilliance.
Why bother with another city or another country? Jay thought. Countries aren’t sealed and separate. We just act like they are. But we’re connected to the it. And the it is the everywhere. Since we’re connected, I can go anywhere.
Lightning flashed again. What’s out there, Jay thought, beyond the narrow vein of these tracks? There are fields and villages and places that will never know the mention of a guidebook.
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