Sunday, May 8, 2016

Waxing...Or Waning?

He crossed the bridge that spanned the railroad tracks alone. The train was not due for fifteen minutes, but he liked the solitude arriving early affords. Soon others would join him on the platform and they would soon became cogs in the engine of commerce and civilization.

But, as the time was early, a sliver of light rose in the eastern sky, above the mountain range. Was it waxing or waning? He didn't know, but if he crossed the bridge at the same time tomorrow, the moon  would be further east. It might even be hid behind the rocky ridge and his question of the moon's phase would go unanswered. Of course, tomorrow he may be late crossing the bridge resulting in a missed train or a missed assignment.

He sat and waited, wondering what the day would bring. He looked north and saw another cross the bridge. The man descended the final stair and walked the eighty-three steps it took to reach the point where the first train door opens so that passengers can board. Did the new man notice the moon, now closer to being engulfed by the mountain? Did he see the lone rider who arrived before him? Did he care that the first man to cross the bridge still wondered if the moon would show more of the sun's illumination tomorrow or less?

Probably not.

Eventually, commuters and students of all sizes and ages waiting patiently for the huge diesel engines to push (or pull...) the train would be rewarded for the time they spent waiting. The behemoth would slow then eventually stop. The doors would open and the masses would step inside the metal beast with an errant few stepping free after having reached their destination. As the alarms signaled, the doors closed, and the train departed, a solitary figure looked eastward for the sliver of light in the morning sky. It was gone.

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