cf. Lottie, “Train view” (2012)
Reading “Ivy Day In The Committee Room” On The Train, November, 1980
his face lapsed into darkness but, as he set himself to fan the fire again, his crouching shadow ascended the opposite wall and his face slowly reemerged into light. It was
a gray day with an almost constant and heavy rain beating down against the train window.
“What are you doing in the dark?” asked a voice.
The cabin lights were off. I stared at the distant red signal light in the mist and felt a chill. I fumbled for my book.
A denuded room came into view and the fire lost all its cheerful colour. The walls of the room were bare except for a
smoking compartment sign. I was alone. A voice asked for my ticket.
“Is that you, Hynes?” asked Mr. O’Connor.
“Yes. What are you doing in the dark?” said Mr. Hynes. advancing into the light of the fire.
The train pulled out of the station and I thought about what you said.
“Tell me,” he said across the fire, “what brings our friend in here? What does he want?”
I guess I just wanted to see you one last time.
“What age are you?” he asked.
“Seventeen,” said the boy.
As the train slowed into the station I looked for you. A man was getting into his car and heading home.
“Tell me, John,” said Mr. O’Connor, lighting his cigarette with another pasteboard card.
“What he is exactly?”
“Ask me an easier one,” said Mr. Henchy.