Travel Advent Dec. 2: Finishing Books on Trains

I’ve spent a lot of time on trains or buses these past years, and several of those journeys have aligned with the momentous occasion of finishing a great book. The plot line has closure, the characters have long reached their apex and fulfilled their path, yet I am still on my journey. I always turn the last page excitedly and look up to celebrate, hoping that some onlooking stranger has seen me turn that final page and noticed my facial expression go from quizzical pensiveness to calm pleasure as the dots connect in my brain. I always hope that someone can be there to celebrate with me, to discuss what just transpired on the miracle hallucination created in my brain by these inkblot symbols on dried tree skins.

But no one cares, no one even looks up. They all peer down, with their noses in their own books or newsfeeds looking back at them with their own entertaining flashing lights. Sometimes I want to shake them and shout “DID YOU SEE ME?! I FINISHED MY BOOK!! DON’T YOU WANT TO ASK ME WHAT IT WAS ABOUT?! DON’T YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE CHARACTER ARCH??” but I just sit quietly, holding the book for a few final moments before another journey enters into my life.

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