SLIPPED THE MIND, after Flashy Fiction
You see, the consequences were grim! I work at the railway station, the central one. There I have to take care of various things as arrivals and departures, but not about schedules or communications, what the complicated females at the office do. I am responsible for the real, physical trains that come into and leave our station.
So, one morning I came late. That was the minor trouble, as I came in drunk. Maybe I wasn’t too drunk, but I had been drinking all night with Heavy-Metal friends and the 4am shift came a bit early for me.
Uhm, I was at the station at about 5 am. That is early enough, considering only few trains move at that time. Besides the night shift had stayed longer to cover me. All in all, things promised to come right, when at about 10am I felt very sleepy.
There were two things I had to do that day: mind my work and take my son from school to his theatre practice. I am divorced and enjoy certain days to see my child. “Enjoy” is a word my lawyer taught me. “It shows enthusiasm,” he says. As he knows better, I agree. After all, he has studied for 17 years, as he quotes so often, while I had trouble completing 10th grade out of 11 necessary to obtain high education diploma. I doubt it my lawyer can make it on the street, or at the railway station as I do, but in court he is the boss.
The part about my lawyer is too long. He is of no importance to my story. I needed to mind my work and take my son from school to theatre practice.
The first thing didn’t come right at all. At about 10am when I started to feel weirdly sleepy, I had to lead a train into the station by redirecting the rails. My colleagues tell me they found me head over the switch board, pressing the lever with my heavy forehead. Sadly, there is no one working with me in the direction cabin at the remote end of the station. That way, my fellow could have seen me drop my head and could have saved the day.
That started a whole series of complications. Police needed to get to the spot, also the Railway Authorities. After all, an entire train had derailed and crashed! I was so lucky there were no lives lost. I may be a drunkard and generally no good, but I won’t take a life on my slate!
Amidst all the hustle, I was asked to step out of my duties, hand over the “representations of my office” – they called the baton and the red head-piece I was wearing that. All in all, I was at a loss. True, I was street wise, but that sort of administration clamour had never occurred to me. I felt I was not apt for the challenge. Best of all, I yearned to be left alone to take a healthy nap on the sofa in my high-air cabin.
So much so, that I forgot all about my son. The official held me at the station till after dusk and then a colleague drove me home, I was so shaken. When I stood in front of the door, I saw my son asleep on the door mat there. His mother had left us, so she wouldn’t have known.
“No theatre practice today, ha, son?” I asked, guilty in my heart.
“No, Dad.” he said humbly. “Today was the final rehearsal. We stage the play on Sunday. Will you come?”
I heard the hope in his voice, the hope not all has been lost. Youth’s foolishness, I thought, as I slammed the door and yelled, “When do you plan to do the dishes?”
© 2012 Mariya Koleva