My father, a staunch academic that never flaps.
At breakfast, I met a stranger at the table
He spoke at a speed I had never heard before
I could see a hint of panic in his eyes.
He didn’t ask, so much as forbid me
to take the 2.40 train from Paddington.
Asking why his voice became calmer
I don’t know if you have heard this story
Or remember it from the newspapers
One year ago, a young man just turned eighteen
died on that train in the third carriage
It’s said he may return on the anniversary of his death
To sit in the same seat for three weeks
In the hope of finding the part of self
we all leave behind on being born.
He waits for the other half, the missing piece
To sit on the seat opposite the door.
When the right person takes that seat
He becomes whole, having entered the sitter.
There are many tales of what takes place next
You have just turned eighteen, I am asking you please,
Take the earlier train to your next job?
Seeing how much this meant to my father
I agreed, and kissing his cheek, I left for work
I felt a little odd approaching the station
Standing close to the edge of the platform
I waited that afternoon for the 2.40.
I remember asking my father why I couldn’t just
Take my journey in the second car
Father said it was best to avoid the 2.40 all together
As curiosity gets the best of some people.
I could hear the train approaching
I stood where the third car would stop
I could see a grey outline of someone sitting
in the seat Father mentioned
There were no discernible features to this mass
Shaking my head, thinking my father’s story
Must have gotten into my mind
I felt a connection, a longing, something remembered
I remembered my father saying that a soul mate
Was not someone you search for in life
It’s the missing part of self.
I knew what this meant, for I had often felt
Lost lonely unsure even when falling
in love with a boy from College
A few minutes of happiness that doesn’t last
Leaving me with the feeling of being unwhole.
Now that I have felt that missing part
I would break my word
I will sit in that seat tomorrow at 2.40
Let the missing part enter
See what life will bring…