I want to buy an overnight train ticket to somewhere.
I will pack boxes of shoes with names like Carnelian and Sapphire and Rose.
My hair will be Marilyn blonde, and I will pull it into one of those French Twists I’ve never been able to do. And I will paint my lips in that same “never been able to do” way.
I will wear button earrings and a sundress, and I will pull a butter-colored sweater over my shoulders because “it’s chilly on the train.”
I will sit across from a stranger and sip iced tea through a straw and speak in breathy phrases about nothing in particular. And my name will be Caroline or Marguerite or Eloise. No last name of course.
When my tea is done, I will politely excuse myself and make my way to the car with the viewing windows. I will slip my feet out of Carnelian shoes and tuck my legs up under me, all the while smiling back at the faces in the clouds.
And tonight I will fall asleep to the clickity-clack, clickity-clack, clickity-clack as the world slips by.
Tomorrow morning I will bring a book with my coffee because I won’t feel much like talking. I won’t be reading though. I will listen to conversations and imagine the lives behind them.
By lunch I will put on Sapphire shoes and a polka dot dress that is magically unwrinkled, and I will be ready to chat again. Doodle curls, a pearl necklace and a bracelet filled with charms. Each charm, of course, comes with a story, but I am just as satisfied hearing the jingle sound they make as I am telling the tales.
As the train nears its destination, I will slip on my Rose shoes and Capri pants with a blouse like my mother used to wear. A ponytail and Audrey Hepburn sunglasses and no sweater because the train has followed the sun. I deliberately sit next to children because I want to absorb their delight as the ocean comes into view.
“Have you been to California?” their mother will ask?
I will absentmindedly twist my great-great-grandmother’s wedding band around my finger.
“I think so” I answer, “But I’m going back to be sure.”