next. i nodded towards the maps at the ticket booth and asked, “what train leaves next?” he seemed amused. “i just want to get away for the day,” i added. he shook his head with a grin and said the san bernardino line. impromptu getaway to suburban los angeles. i bought my fare and made my way to the platform. i befriended a dog while waiting and explained my journey to the owner. “i didn’t know people your age do that,” she said. “so where are you planning on going?” i glanced at the map with a shrug. “claremont has cute little shops you might enjoy,” she suggested. and with that i had my destination. i picked my seat amongst head-phoned cargo pants college students and watched the blur of traffic and trains become house complexes and mountains. i became so transfixed that when claremont was announced i missed the exit. the next stop, mont claire, saw my face. i discovered a broken mirror… already broken and acted on the urge to take some photos. the day was starting to feel like a dream. i walked from one small town to the next and felt an ache for my hometown. the slow traffic and oranges growing on police station trees. the buzz of afternoon. these sidewalks where vacant. i wandered through the neighborhoods and admired the individuality spilling from elaborate fountains and overgrown landscaping. i loved it. after my vegan pasta i explored the small shops lining the streets. claremont felt very unreal. from the cute teenage couple wearing matching plaid to the father and son playing catch. the green grasses of memorial park and the swings hummed my name. “you look so happy!” exclaimed a strangers grandfather as he lead his granddaughter and her fairy tutu to the tennis court. “i haven’t been on a swing in a while,” i beamed. he chuckled and played his wooden flute while she danced. i continued my walk. “have you seen a parakeet?” a couple asked. “nope. sorry,” i replied. for the rest of my lack-of-a-destination walk, i had my head tilted slightly towards the trees in hopes of helping them bring their pet home. a few antique stores later, i found the christmas jingles and snowflake lights stirring the seasonal vibes. “i love your outfit. stay awesome,” a teen expressed as i made my way to the depot. “thanks, it’s thrifted.” i mustered with a smile foaming my face. always adding in that “it’s thrifted,” tagline without any actual tags makes me feel so uncomfortably accomplished. like yeah, i spent hours shuffling hangers of clothing other people deemed uncool or untrendy and found this!!! some second-hand poetry and a sunset train back to the city. this sleepaway place was just the escape i was searching for. until next time.
p.s. remain curious, friends