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Hi, it’s Anne Myers here. I just wanted to read a few words to you about catching the country train that was first published in The Age. It’s called A little train of thoughts.
Anna Karenina waits with me for the train. She’s right at home here. While it’s not quite the Russian winter it’s cold. And we’re standing in a grand old station, so she’d be pleased with that. Unfortunately, it’s not St Petersburg to Moscow, it’s Kyneton to Melbourne so she will have to make do, and while there are no snow drifts to point out to her, the icy winds from the south make her pages curl.
I am new to this train line, so I thought I would bring Anna along as a travelling companion for she is an old copy, much loved and read. Besides, I want to be with her on the train when she first meets Vronksy.
I take a seat.
And so begins this strange existence of having left but not yet arrived, a sense all time has been withdrawn leaving you in this travel void, a resetting of sorts, yet also a space where time has been given back, time not found in other non travel parts of the day – a permissible space to read and think and stare out upon the world at large.
Sometimes we both listen to the noises of the train, books on our lap, the same jolting and knocking, the same rain against the window. Today though she is distracted, she is thinking about Vronsky. I look up from the pages wishing I were in her Russian winter attending one of her society balls, taking a few turns around the room with Vronsky giving me ‘the look of slavish adoration.’
A few weeks have passed. The honeymoon is over. Anna is now living with Vronsky and their child, unable to go into society, unable to see her son. Her life has become unbearable. The pages are as heavy as the rain on the window. Some days I can’t bear the thought of getting off the train and leaving her alone.
She is in a state today. I shouldn’t have her anywhere near a train. I quietly read as we wait for the train to arrive. A goods train is approaching. I turn away. And she is gone.
I stare back down at the page, a little teary, and say goodbye to Anna. It’s been nice having her as a travelling companion. I will miss her.
ABOUT ANNE MYERS:
Anne is a writer living in the Macedon Ranges. Her work has appeared in The Death Mook, Southerley, Meanjin, The Age and on Radio National. She is currently working on her first novel, That Good Night.
“I came to Varuna on a Publisher Fellowship in June 2010. The week was the highlight of my writing life thus far and reinforced my love for all things writing.” Anne Myers
Winter Coffin – The Death Mook – 2008
Letting Go – Southerly – 2008
Black Holes – Meanjin – 2009 and anthologised in The Sounds of Silence (released Oct 2011)
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