The bit of magazine was sticking out of the woman’s purse, a short article, in French – she must have enrolled in some French class, or be the teacher. Funny, though, as French teachers usually have that peculiar out-of-fashion Parisian feel to them and she didn’t – the article read (her shoes did qualify as distinctly eccentric though): “Celebrated. The 117th birthday of the world’s oldest living person. The Italian supercentenarian, who has been single since kicking her husband out in 1938, credits her longevity to eating two raw eggs a day. She is believed t…” – what? – “… believed to be the last person alive born in the 19th century.”
Maybe a conversation should have taken place about surviving, about aging. Gently, like the whispers of ancient people, hard of hearing, silence versus the clamor of collapsing changing years. And the whole coach acquired a new meaning, the whole train, at full speed, you could feel the tracks nailed down into the crust of the earth and all of a sudden, not anymore.