You board several trains a night, fraught with lilac mist. Blood oranges suspended above the walkway illuminate the path. Machines that blink white churn out Morse conversations. This language, the backdrop of the otherwise blank soundscape of the night. The sky is a milky pool, dizzying to look upwards when you feel you are looking down. The platform: angular and shrouded in geometry, as the silver body of the snake arrives upon the tracks and slows to a halt. It doesn’t chug, but glides silent and serpentine.
There is never any need for tickets on these trains. Not the result of subsidiaries, or your own rebellion; but because these are the journeys of your dreams.
Each carriage is reminiscent of some estranged location. Step upon the snake’s spine in the breaks between carriage C to carriage D. Through the dormitories of your psyche, sleeping children, all past versions of yourself are awoken. You observe the incandescent bodies, gurgling and infantile. They are all you, they all sleep too.
Transparent embodiments of each ephemeral phase. It feels transient to view yourself in such phantom form, evoking a lucid introspection which only the subconscious could offer. You must walk on past them, as they are closed behind the glass. Do not wake the sleeping, for these are all the skins you have shed. The last, incubated body is that of your former self. The one which sleeps the soundest, as you did 24 hours ago. A lethargy sets in after every personification of the past has been explored. It makes you yawn to see every step you take to change. When you reach the end of the train, stepping to the end of the vertebrae, on the tail there is nothing. The sheer, pure, vast nothing.
Your own body does not exist. You transcend the dimensions and restrictions which come with waking. People talk of ‘travelling light’. To travel unconscious is to start in one place, and end in another: but not as far as your physicality is concerned. To travel unconscious is to board trains and go on journeys without bringing that heavy sense of self with you.
Your journey is disrupted only by reality: the maintenance work, on the tracks of the night train. You will not remember this when you wake.
– Emily Black