How I decided to spend my Saturday night - (2)

"Hello there! Who are you driving the train at midnight, and do you remember the fact that I am your grandchild?"

Finally, a reply that breaks the silence and throws the oblivion into nothingness.

"Hello kid, take a seat. Who are you wandering around the abandoned railway station at midnight? And I have not met you before."

I look at the control board. It is complicated and mesmerizing. It is both for design and function.

It is decorative and practical, I cannot stop myself from watching how the control board works so perfectly.

It is a machine after all, unlike us. But we have feelings and emotions, unlike technology.

Soon enough, we will be the machines and the machines will be us. It is difficult to imagine a world like that at present.

But everything is possible, right? Is it true that I am meeting my grandfather right now? Is it true that I am not alive anymore right now?

On top of that, there are photos of him helping people and people helping him, alternating.

These are still in good condition. Someone must have taken these photos carefully, someone I know personally.

He was living a nothing - out - of - the - ordinary life until he met me.

He seems uncomfortable meeting and talking to me. On the contrary, I am a friendly and talkative person.

I do not mind saying "Hello!" to complete strangers here and there.

"I have definitely met you. I even keep photos of you when you were younger. Would you like to take a look?"

I hand over the photos. Then I realized something amazing and brilliant. This is not a coincidence, right?

These photos were taken only a few moments apart.

It took so much time to take a photo, so people did not smile back then although they wanted to.

It is better to have a photo to show to your grandchildren and talk about the good old days when freedom was around and there was nothing to be worried at.

But my grandfather was dedicated to these photos.

He made sure that his grandchildren would see him smiling back at the camera, enjoying his earlier years in his photos, like his true self.

Then he framed his photos and put them at the workplace so he can look back at them every day and remind him of his childhood and his adulthood that was once happier.

I did a somehow familiar method to protect my photos. I laminated them.

These photos must have been lost in transition since half of them ended up in my hands.

Although I put my photos in my schoolbag, I never show them to my friend.

I have already known that my classmates would not enjoy looking back at the life of a woodworker, more precisely, a rustic wooden patternmaker.

But I would look back at the past of my grandfather.

Because wood is a material with low thermal and electrical conductivity, so you can reconstruct wood to almost everything without getting yourself into trouble.

And because the first frontiers and creators are whom people are inspired to form a world we live in today, even if they are not as intelligent and creative.

"Let me stop the train first, then we can talk."

The train stop at a railway station, where more than half of the lights do not work anymore.

"Let's talk while we wait for the next passengers, which we all know, there is no one here except me and you."

A few moments later, I see a younger self with different clothes but the same expressions, pessimistic and terrified.

"Hello! Is anyone here? I know you do not want to talk to a stranger, but we can start a conversation so I can know more about you. And we can be friends!"

Have I heard that before? It sounds so familiar but I cannot figure out who spoke it and when.

"There is someone, look over there."

"That is you, younger with different clothes but the same expressions, pessimistic and terrified."

"Well, let me be the next passenger of the train. We should welcome people even if they are unfamiliar to us.

And because you are the motorman. Your job is to get people to where they want and need to go, no matter who they are, your friends or your enemies."

"Let's just get back to your photos. I do not remember any of them, although they are almost identical to mine."

"Don't you remember your past even though you look back at them every day?

I even keep a photo of us eating ice cream outside the backyard on Christmas while everyone was indoors having dinner and forget that we exist, together, years ago."

He looks at the photo for a longer time than he should. The train needs to be gone by now.

The schedule for the train is no longer being followed. My only hope is that no other trains crash into us, although I know this railway was abandoned years ago.

"I apologize for wasting your invaluable time but I do not remember us being together on Christmas."

And then, I remember that my grandfather has Alzheimer's.

"Let me tell you a story."


To be continued. I know that posting literature on a website based around math and science is not worth it. But it is worth a try.

Note by Thành Đạt Lê
11 months, 2 weeks ago

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1 vote

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This is a challenge for Henry U to crack the code. There will be a part 3, for sure.

Here's a hint: There isn't any apostrophe except where it's a necessity.

Thành Đạt Lê - 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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The only apostrophes are in lines

  • 31: "Let's talk while we wait for the next passengers, which we all know, there is no one here except me and you."
  • 39: "Let's just get back to your photos. I do not remember any of them, although they are almost identical to mine."
  • 40: "Don't you remember your past even though you look back at them every day?"
  • 45: And then, I remember that my grandfather has Alzheimer's.

Lines 39, 40 and 45 fit together in context really nicely, line 31 doesn't fit perfectly, but it leads to the speech in line 33

"Hello! Is anyone here? I know you do not want to talk to a stranger, but we can start a conversation so I can know more about you. And we can be friends!"

which is a repetition from part one.

Henry U - 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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You really enjoy doing this, right. (whisper) There's a part 3 already.

Thành Đạt Lê - 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Thành Đạt Lê I do! I also would like to write such a poem, but it might still take some time since I'm not that good at writing.

Henry U - 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Henry U Because in our program, we have to write a poem, but it's much more poetic and patriotic than this.

Thành Đạt Lê - 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Thành Đạt Lê Interesting, I haven't written poems since primary school, except once in 8th grade.

Henry U - 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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@Henry U Go check the third one, it's not a poem. I'm sorry.

Thành Đạt Lê - 11 months, 2 weeks ago

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