Thursday, 4 August 2011

The train terminates here, all change…all change.

FRIDAY, 11 JULY 2008

I was at a meeting yesterday, and travelled there by train.

As has become my habit, I use the time to read a few more pages of the book I am still trying to complete (I am half way through and realize I should have been born in the 30s I would have been a great communist!)

As I read the words and turn the pages with the old photographs over I can’t stop thinking about a recent email exchange I have had.

It all started with a “classmates” site.

I found the site sometime in the 90s, as is usual it was mainly occupied by younger generations, but there were also some of my peers, and even a few older.
At the time they included only those dispersed like myself, it seemed a harmless thing to do at the time, and I entered my details.

When I returned recently to remove them I found I had mentioned Arian’s sister’s name as someone I would like to contact.

I was reminded of this site ten months ago
“Who is KH?” asked M
I don’t know I replied
“Well someone by that name has sent you an email”

And so they had, with an accompanying photograph confirming identity.
A colleague from college, and a “locker neighbour” in the first years, a “bench neighbour” in the laboratories, a “group member” in the clinical years, and a “lecture neighbour” for six years.

I replied, we exchanged updates, and swapped pictures from our days as students.

A little later I became included in the “email list” and four months after that first message I heard the first warning bell, a poem.
I decided not to respond.

Six months and two visits to Baghdad later (with many heart wrenching pictures of no-longer familiar sites) and we both eventually “came out”, albeit by email.

This time the poem was more provocative, the message specific, and the accompanying images touched a raw spot.
Try as I could to be polite I could not withhold a response.

After the initial “aha I caught you out” the reply was three pages of multicoloured text, and the kind of taunts I find myself unable to ignore “the American soldier was the most honourable person to have ever been in that room”.

I did of course have the "last" word, which has been followed by silence.

I realise it has gone really quiet, and look up from the unread pages of my book, to notice that the train has stopped.
Everyone has got out, and the cleaners are emptying the bins.

There are no more stations to travel to together.

The train terminates here, all change…all change.

No comments:

Post a Comment