Elrond Rides the Train

A very obviously drunk woman sits down next to him.

“You don’t mind if I sit here,” she slurs, and the bourbon on her breath reminds him of other times.
“No,” he says, politely turning away from the window to face her.
“Where you going?”
“Hey, me too! I’m going to visit my mom. Haven’t seen her in years and years. You got any family?”
“Somewhere. We don’t keep in touch.”
“You gotta keep in touch! Family’s… family’s important. Most important thing there is.”
“We got separated after the war.”
“Oh, no, you’re one of the refugees? You poor thing. I had a friend who died over there, shot right after it was over. A-accidentally.” Two fat tears run down her cheeks and she touches him with a hand light as the wind. Her vinous compassion moves him and the stars are in his eyes. He tells her about his brother. Talking makes it more real.

When the train stops to take on passengers she is sleeping on his shoulder. He watches the coats and the hats of winter moving on the platform and swears to see her safely arrived.