Wellington Street

In which we take a stroll down a very strange stretch of road.

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Train "The Standing Man"

I was driving home last night. It was very late, around 1:00 am. I came upon a train crossing, and as I neared it I heard the familiar tone as the arms dropped. I immediately put the car into park. This late at night the only trains that would be running would be freight. I was right, as the cars rolled past. While I sat there, a man stepped out from the dark, from the ditch that separated the woods from the track. It was raining.

The man looked like he had something wrong with him. As he walked, he seemed to sway and limp at the same time, stumbling until he was halfway across the road, standing on the center line. His eyes were yellowed, and he seemed to have odd discolorations in his skin. His hair was dirty and stringy, and he shook as he breathed. The train continued to roll past, tanker cars blurring together with standard freight. All the while the man simply stood there, swaying in place, his eyes looking off at nothing.

At first I thought he was drunk, but then he turned and looked at me, and I could tell that what was wrong with him wasn't alcohol. I've been drunk enough times to know. His eyes weren't bloodshot, and his pupils weren't dilated. He simply looked lost and disinterested. I turned my gaze away from him, not wanting to bring on attention.

The man was soaked, and seemed not to notice when the rain began to pick up. I focused off of him, and simply brought my attention onto the flashing signal, watching the train pass by. Wishing it would finish passing through. I thought about my day, and how much I hated this cold I have. Small things like an itchy throat can really rile you up. I turned my attention back to the center of the road, only to jump. Because the man now standing next to my door, staring in.

I tried to ignore him, but that is awfully hard to do when someone is that close. He didn't really move, didn't try to open the door or talk to me. He just stared. All the while the train rolled past. The rain pattered on the hood of my car. And the man just kept swaying back and forth.

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