Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I walk on the gray floor of the train station. There are people here and there. There’s a group of Africans resting against the handrail sharing minutes, hours, days… who knows what and for how long, but they share the night’s cold. A bulk of blankets shows two dirty and broken shoes and two different socks. Some fingers with gold rings chained to a many-carats-bracelet validate the ticket. The broken glasses let a coat of murdered skin go by. A metalized voice announces the arrival of another train. Races.

    A drug addict speaks alone, nearly mutters. People going up and down the gray stairs think he’s mad. But from inside his mouth truth comes out. “Run, run, ‘cause the train is gonna solve it all.” “Look at her, everyday she comes downstairs the same way. With those airs and graces… ha! They’re only rooten, just like their spirit.” I look at her. I can’t help it but smile. She’s coming downstairs holding her bag and her coat as if she was going down the Titanic’s stairs and was going to meet that millionaire gallan who all girls want. But her eyes are full of rage and sadness and her disgusting expression makes me ponder. I look at the man. He’s painting colorful flowers.

    I step on the floor’s metal and I put one of my feet on the escalators. I love leaving my feet on the floor while the steps move; I love looking at how I go out into the sky. Seeing the black sky full of stars. Or the sky black of clouds. The sky blue and white. Or seeing the drops of rain fall when then, suddenly, they start making you wet. The escalators move lazily under my feet and the black sky decorated with orange clouds (thank you, pollution) appears slowly in front of me. The blackness of the sky had already made me smile when, all of a sudden, a huge building full of lights and with an enormous clock appears before my eyes. “Disgusting!”

    I start walking down the street. A pierced young man, with colorful hair and black leather clothes babbles “a coin”. Some steps further, a woman with her face and hands dirty holds a cup of Starbucks. “Help, please”. I have two cookies in a plastic package. I give them to her. She guzzles them as a hungry dog.

    I turn left. Tourists laugh with beers and hamburgers, sheltered by thick, shinny, gray jackets. I wait in front of the red light. The cars go by breaking the air, leaving it smashed into pieces and full of stains, like a used paper handkerchief. I cross the street and go straight ahead. Almond eyes take pictures. Couples, here and there, exchange forms of affection. Trendy clothes. Plastics and cardboards on the floor, victims of fashion. Strange gazes. Gazes full of nothing. Empty gazes. Streets full of light that doesn’t let you see the starry sky. Streets full of high buildings which doesn’t let you see the blue of the sun. Smiles which doesn’t shine. Kids who are not.

    ***

    After spending the morning working, I go back into the city. The street is full of people. Shops are open at lunch time so that walking mannequins can be happy. “A t-shirt and a pair of jeans!” “Let’s go for the boots?” “I’ve spent 200 euro… but next week, we come back again, huh?!” I get on my bike with the only purpose of going faster and not hearing. After all, just to avoid people.

    I am back on that gray floor. It is now my hand the one introducing the ticket. I guess we have no choice but being part (tiny, please!) of this society. In the train, gray eyes don’t stop gazing at their mobiles. Ears plugged to music. A woman cries, she’s ignored by the crowd. She makes me think of the Earth, crying ignored by the plague of humankind. And I remember a quote: “Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. We did not weave the web of life, we are merely strands in it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.” Ha! Get ready sons and daughters of the Earth!

    “Next stop: yadda yadda.” I get off the train and I get on a bus drowned in a silence full of noises: the motor, the helicopter, the “Please, don’t cross the…”. I look around. Simple and pure artificiality. I wish I was in the middle of a forest and was able to be real. Every time I walk between the gray, I think that the cities are prisons being built around us. And I always get to the same conclusion: that’s not what I want for my kids. That’s not what I want for myself. Suddenly, the sun hugs me and my lips smile.

    After a long afternoon at work, I get off the train again. The Africans are still there. But they’re not talking now. They’re arguing. It’s the very same time as always (the fucking clock always setting our pace) but the station is strangely empty. The gray floor doesn’t get tough footsteps and there is only a black mini skirt escorted by a black jacket and black heels running towards the train. “How strange.” But I keep walking to the same escalators of always, wishing to see what the sky looks like tonight. I step on the grey metal and I start going upstairs. The concrete roof starts disappearing. The sky is black and I can see a lot of stars, just as if the lights were off. And they are off. As the stairs keep going up, I start seeing the full moon, which shows me high green trees and a brown path. I can’t believe what my eyes see. There’s not a single building!!

    I make a step and go out of the metal. I walk on the concrete until I get to the stair. I take my shoes off. I walk barefoot on the path. It’s real Earth! I go near a tree and touch his rough skin shyly. It makes me blush. The trunks of the trees are real! I look back and the gray hole has disappeared. I follow the path, where will it take me?

    The full moon and the stars accompany me. From time to time I mimic the cubs and I gently bite the air in order to tickle it. It tastes of green, blue and honey. I get to a little cliff. The sun is rising and paints everything. A great plain borders a mountain range. A bright river crosses it. There are trees here and there. Wild horses run free. An eagle flies. I pray to the sun for it not be a dream and to show me, somehow, that all this is real.

    A wolf sits down by my side. I can’t stop smiling. Peace invades my being. A white horse comes near. The wolf holds my hand and guides me through the prairie until we get to a hill. There he shows me a cabin with a kindled bonfire and some food cooking. Some comfortable skins are waiting for us near the fire. The wolf invites me in and lies on a skin. He wants me to lie near him and that’s what I do. Suddenly, the wolf is not a wolf anymore. We both hug each other and, after a long time speaking and laughing, we are united in love. I am all happiness.
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.