…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy! If you are looking for Kaylia's official Website please visit KayliaMetcalfeWriter

Another Learning Experience

On the light rail, riding… destination important in the macro level of things but really, I remind myself, it is the journey that counts.

Amidst the outside darkness lights flash by the tinted windows, impossible to really see through with the glowing internal lights and rain smears. Is it morning? Is it night? Am I going to work or coming home? Does it really matter?

I am tempted to stay on the train until it has gone as far as it can go… reason tells me that it will eventually stop and this being the light rail it will simply turn around and go back the direction it came from. Or, to be more accurate, it won’t even bother to turn around… It will just begin to go in the opposite direction until it reaches the other end. It is like a large highly motivated pendulum that slips back and forth, up and down the valley. You will eventually be right back wherever it was you started. You can’t run away if you never get out of the loop.

It was a mistake to go… I know this and yet I resist the judgment. I don’t want to make mistakes, and if I make them, I want them to count for something, to have taught me something. Already the experience is fading but the lesson to be learned hasn’t hit yet and so I refuse to dwell on the misguided actions. If I am always true to myself, can I ever do something worth regretting? Regardless of what history will make of tonight, I am still here, and I am still me.

And I am still restless.

For a while I liked to imagine myself as a boat out on the water… riding the waves of life… the ups, the downs, I knew I could deal with them because after all I was well built. I trusted in the past experiences that had forged my hull, cast my riggings. My sails were no stranger to harsh winds and whatever storm came along I could deal with it. This faith in myself was tempered by the notion that that I was on my way somewhere, seeking out something… and once I found my safe harbor, I would find peace.

The more I think about it though, the more I don’t think this metaphor really works. A ship is made to be on the water, in the sea, responding to the waves and in an almost constant state of motion. It might pull into port for a bit, a rest, but it doesn’t stay there… boats that don’t leave the harbor are the old decommissioned ones. Even if the ship isn’t salvaged for parts but instead converted into a restaurant, a museum, or some other tourist trap type place it remains a pathetic shadow of what it had once been, what it had been intended to be. Its glory days, its days of living out its purpose are over. Am I a ship looking for safe harbor? Or am I a ship that is still reveling in the drama of the storms?

Regardless, I am restless. I feel like dancing, singing, howling at the nonexistent moon, making a big decision, taking a frightening risk. Maturely, and with some small bit of self pride, I decide to stay away from ex boyfriends, ATMs, and liquor tonight. I will instead lose myself in something else. I will let the music wash over me, let the worlds of Steinbeck or Rice or Irving surround me. I will be good.


Unknown said...

Since it is unclear what experience has just occurred to this person, it is obviously irrelevant to the point. Does your story describe a lesson in the process of being learned, or the repetition of another mistake? A little re-organization of the paragraphs may have a significant impact on the reader, unless your intention is to use the structure of the work to reinforce the imagery of the pendulum. In which case, it may be better to end the story by repeating the mistake.

On another note, the Light Rail should be capitalized.

Kaylia Metcalfe said...

Yes... Light Rail... good catch.

And yes I did want to focus on the repetition of mistakes and lessons learned like the pendulum... so I will revise it a bit to try to make that clearer.


JayRod said...

I kind of felt the focus of this essay changed and never really came back to its beginning. Started with talking about a light rail then moved to a comparison to you being a boat and then never really came back to the light rail. If you don't mean to, then it is fine, but I just like the symmetry. Also, light rail only needs to be capitolized if that is the name of the light rail, but since I've never heard of a train being called Train or a car being Car.

Unknown said...

Trains and cars are modes of transportation, like trolleys, subways, buses or airplanes, which can be commonly found in various places all over the world.

The San Jose Light Rail is a named transportation network that is unique. More accurately, the context should either be:
"On the Light Rail..." or
"On a Light Rail car..."

The vast majority of readers will not recognize the Light Rail as a form of transportation.

JayRod said...

Sorry, I'm gonna have to continue to disagree with you. Caps are only needed for proper names and Light Rail is not a proper name since there are others in existence. There are light rails in many other cities and you argument could be turned back on you in that people who have never been to NY or LA or ever seen a movie about that area have no clue what a subway is and subway is only in cap when they call it the New Yor Subway System.

Kaylia Metcalfe said...

I looked it up.

The San Jose Light Rail

The Santa Clara Valley Light Rail

The LRT System

… but just

On the light rail….

I was waiting for the light rail…

I enjoy sleeping on the light rail…

(like subway or the bus)