The smell of coal burning always reminded me of a past I hadn’t seen, and it smelled so warm and raw like there was a family of 5 sitting around a fire somewhere warming their hands over it and I fancied I could smell something like love in it. The sibilant hiss of the train’s wheels as they overcome their inertia sounded like the sigh my mother made after a long day saying nothing back to her boss and depositing her unnecessarily heavy handbag on the dining table. But I liked it because these sounds sounded the same whether I was 6 or 22 and in a world where change often left me in a state of private mourning it was a relief to think that yes, these sounds, which don’t know that I exist, are what keep me sane.


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