By Rudyard Kipling
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Additional resources for Actions and Reactions (Collected Works of Rudyard Kipling)
At the station bar the only people left are locals who all know one another, people who have no connection with the station but come this far through the dark square perhaps because there is no other place open in the neighborhood, or perhaps because of the attraction that stations still exercise in provincial cities, that bit of novelty that can be expected from stations, or perhaps only in recollection of the time when a station was the single point of contact with the rest of the world. It's all very well for me to tell myself there are no provincial cities any more and perhaps there never were any: all places communicate instantly with all other places, a sense of isolation is felt only during the trip between one place and the other, that is, when you are in no place.
That girl... " I asked, and with an ill-advised movement I reached out to uncover and grasp the photograph in its carved wooden frame. This girl was different from the girls in these parts who all have round faces and braids the color of bran. It was not until this moment that I thought of Brigd; in a flash I saw Ponko and Brigd, who would dance together on the Feast of Saint Thaddeus, Brigd who would mend Ponko's woolen gloves, Ponko who would give Brigd a marten captured with my trap. " Ponko yelled and grabbed both my arms with iron fingers.
There's no use my looking at my watch; if anyone had come and waited for me he would have gone away again long ago, there's no point in my furiously racking my brain to turn back clocks and calendars in the hope of reaching again the moment before something that should not have happened did happen. If I was to meet someone in this station, someone who perhaps had nothing to do with this station but was simply to get off one train and leave on another train, as I was to have done, and one of the two was to pass something to the other—for example, if I was supposed to give the other this wheeled suitcase which instead has been left on my hands and is scorching them—then the only thing to do is to try to re-establish the lost contact.
Actions and Reactions (Collected Works of Rudyard Kipling) by Rudyard Kipling