Length of every part: short
Looking at the window I notice anxiously that the sun is already shining as if it were afternoon, when in reality it is just eight in the morning. Fortunately this train has an air conditioning system.
I yawn. I’m tired. When did I go to sleep last night? Was it four o’clock? Maybe half past four… I thought I’d have time to sleep on the train, but the journey is barely three hours long and I’ve already covered half the way.
And there is also the phone that doesn’t let me sleep. I hold it in my hand and turn on the screen every five minutes to choose which song to play. Technically I wouldn’t need to do that since I’m listening to a playlist, but I’ve heard some songs so many times that I don’t want to hear them again, so I skip them manually.
I yawn again and focus on the landscape that very quickly flows on the window. The railways are adjacent to a highway which unfortunately covers most of my view, but beyond I see fields, trees, distant villages, what look like farms… and my mind starts to travel.
I think about what I will do when I get home. I can’t wait to say “hi” to Lucrezia and Giorgia, who I haven’t seen for weeks. I can’t wait to throw myself into my room and rest for a while. And most importantly, I can’t wait to see Alex again …
I also think about the fact that it will be very hot there, which kills my enthusiasm a little. I will certainly miss the sea, and the fan in my room will not be enough to beat the sun.
I close my eyes. Maybe I can get some sleep. There is an hour and a half left before my arrival, so I would be happy to sleep for an hour.
I open my eyes. It is better to not sleep. An hour of sleep would just destroy me, I wouldn’t be able to get up later. Best to stay awake at this point.
After a few seconds I close my eyes again. It’s stronger than me. I’m tired and the train is rocking me. I can’t resist any longer.
I open my eyes once more time. I have to change the song that just started if I want to sleep. Maybe I should directly change the playlist and put something more relaxing… some lo-fi maybe? Or a little bit of asmr?
While I’m staring at the phone, someone decides to turn off the lights. The sudden drop in brightness makes my head jump up with both fright and annoyance: why did they turn them off? Has the power gone out? Is there any problem? It’s true that I want to sleep but … but …
Wait a second …
While the shrill scream of what seems to me a little girl passes through the carriage, I look at the window once again. The lights have not been turned off, they were never on after all, so … is it the windows that have turned off?
<<W … what -?>> this voice comes from the man sitting next to me. He is looking at the window with my same perplexity but a little more energy <<What … what the …?>>
To his words the ones of other people are added, people who I do not see because I’m too busy looking at the window to understand what is happening.
Has anyone put a black sheet over the train? It does not seem so. So … did we go into some kind of tunnel? I don’t think so … yet … yet I don’t see anything! The window went out. The window… went out. But not just mine. All the other windows went out. But how is it possible? What is happening? Windows can’t darken like that suddenly.
Are these virtual windows? I was warned that this train is super technological, it was created by the DTC after all, but… what’s the point of creating virtual windows?
Between swearing and screaming, the people seem to be asking the same questions as me: “What the hell is going on”?
At this point I turn on my phone’s flashlight, as do many other people. But that doesn’t improve the situation much, on the contrary it just makes the wagon more disturbing than it already is.
Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe I’m sleeping. Maybe it’s a lucid dream, one of those hypnagogic paralysis… But no… I know that I’m actually awake.
I’m not sleeping.
By continuing to look at the window, my brain is processing information that it cannot believe; I start to get out of breath and shivers start to shake my whole body …
The window did not actually go out, because on the highway the cars started to turn on the headlights … and I can see them. I see the headlights of the cars in total darkness. So the window is not the problem.
Nobody threw a black sheet on the train. Nobody turned out the lights.
But something must have gone off though. And I think I know what, but I don’t want to think about it.
I can’t think about it.
I’m too afraid to think about it.
I don’t understand what’s going on.
I look up to the sky and … I don’t see anything. Nothing.
Maybe am I really sleeping?
Yet I’m sure I’m perfectly awake.
And I’m sure of another thing: now I’m screaming too, because there is something that has gone out. But I don’t want to believe it. I can not believe it.
Yet … is not there.
The sun is not there.