This morning was overly cool and I will be glad when summer finally arrives. I walked downtown to watch a few trains pass in the predawn dark. There is just this tangible excitement that builds as you first hear the far off wail of a locomotive horn as a train enters town. Soon, you will see a bright headlight round the corner far down the tracks in the dark as the train approaches. The ground will rumble beneath your feet as the train passes with many container cars marked “China Shipping.” The kid in me always rejoices at this grand spectacle of modern locomotive machinery.
I then stopped by Fat Albert’s this morning for a hot cup of coffee. My ex-girlfriend Carolyn worked there for years and the clerks all know me exceedingly well. I was greeted by hearty hellos and good mornings as I walked in. I stood at the counter to pay for my coffee after carefully fixing it.
“Do you ever hear from Carolyn these days?” The manager, Patty, asked me early this morning. “I haven’t heard from her in ages and was wondering how she was doing.”
“You know we broke up,” I said.
“Yeah, I know,” Patty replied. “I just thought you two might still be talking.”
“We no longer talk, but last I heard she is still working at Wal-Mart.”
“You two were such a good couple. I hate you broke up,” Patty replied.
“Yeah,” I said growing silent as I drank my coffee.
Patty rung me up and I paid and left to walk up the street towards home. I thought of Carolyn as I walked. I still get the occasional call on my answering machine were no one talks, but you can hear someone breathing with a television on in the background. I just know it is Carolyn. It has been very tempting to pick up the phone and say hello. I was never good at saying goodbye. If I were to pick up then I would start that emotional roller coaster going all over again. It is best to let sleeping dogs lie.