Shades of Gray

The dream was a gray one, with strokes of somber coal black and dusted brazen yellow.

There was a train, moving away from me to a somehow undefined horizon. You were on it.

I vaguely understood that you were going away, and perhaps would not return for many, many days, weeks, months, or maybe even years—years, a terrifying concept for such an unweathered life. I tried not to cry before you, but tears burst out on their own all the same. The freezing winds harshly wiped them off my face, and their callous touch was nothing like the softness and gentleness of your fingers.

I lost a part of myself then to the silent wilderness that engulfed you. From a trembling savage beast, the train turned itself into a little matchbox on the neatly piled toy-like rails, then a black little dot, vanishing into the incorporeal air. Along with you.

A certain desperate eloquence did not escape me, nor did the fading sound of the train bells. Finally everything was condensed into nothing, and I was left with a canvas of the helpless white.

And at that moment I knew how painfully and earnestly I would remember, for all the times to come, that pair of eye’s coal black, that horizon’s dead fish white, that earth’s lonely metallic yellow, and that world’s voiceless shades of gray.

~Tian H