Before and After

There is a grimace on his face, a mask of sleep. “What is wrong?” you ask when the fellow in the next seat wakes up. “It is nothing,” comes the reply. “You are too young to remember. And besides, it wasn’t wrong, only natural, the way things were supposed to be.” The train stops. Perhaps there is a freight train heading North. Freight always has priority. You look out the window. You are in a warehouse district but the dilapidated structure you see does not look like a factory. Maybe it was. Before. Now it is After and the building has orange lights in some rooms. You see a laundry line on the roof. A place where people live then. Certainly not what anyone would call home.