By Jackie Leavitt
The train rocked gently, side to side, as it rolled north through the California suburbs. A gloom, a greyness, lingered over everything: the faded vinyl-covered houses, the hills parched from drought, the run-down corner stores yet to open, the flattened sky devoid of cloud or sunshine. The scenery seemed sinister, unwelcoming, as I gazed out past my own pale reflection, bare of makeup. I held on to my paper coffee cup – feeling the warmth from the creamy liquid inside – as if I could pull the heat through my fingers and palms up my arm to the rest of my torso and heart. I was unsure, for the first time, of where I was going.