Matthew McBrearty—poet, husband, father, Texas Longhorn, gemini & gemini—is meticulously documenting the poker-faced adventures of Camus and McCarry.

We’ve published five of McBrearty’s poems: “the dentists,” “the resistance,” “a relaxed state,” “the consumers,” and “fishing.”

A Tenuous Train Ride

posted Sep 21, 2010

McCarry and Camus boarded the train and sat on either side of a pensive looking man with a froggy pallor.

"Are you alright?" McCarry asked the man who shuddered as if he had been roused from a squalid nap.

"Hardly," he answered in a dubitable British accent.

"Educated in England?" McCarry asked.

"Top of my class," the man replied with a heavy heart, "through Oxford."

The man dropped his face into his hands.

"Congratulations," McCarry said.

The train heaved this way and that, chugged along, spit forward smooth as churning butter. Through the window one could see a pair of black cows quietly contemplating the abandoned quarry adjacent the verdant pasture in which they masticated.

"I've become caught up with the wrong crowd," the man confessed.

"As have I," McCarry chuckled, looking over at Camus who, feet propped on an open seat, was very contentedly writing a play entitled Les Justes.

"You don't understand," the man said. "I may have brought live explosives onto the train in my luggage."

McCarry's ears perked and he glanced at Camus who raised his brow but continued to scribble.

"Seems like the kind of thing you would be sure of," McCarry said.

"I had opened my eyes, as they say," the man explained, "and was accordingly duped into fanaticism. They're testing my wherewithal, giving me bags that may or may not be laden with explosives. I've always been hotheaded. Now I'm a walking time-bomb!"

Just then the train gave out a loud rusty clang and a heavy jolt. The man balled up his clean-shaven face and pulled his shoulders toward his ears. When he opened his eyes the train was lilting along again and the resigning sun glared against the foggy window pane.

"Take it easy," McCarry reassured him, leaning forward like a teetering lampshade. "Have a little faith in yourself...I have faith in you."

"As do I," Camus chimed in, patting the man's shoulder.

"Top of your class," McCarry said.

"But the explosives..."

"Faith," McCarry reminded him and the train whistled on beside a ranch full of savory brown buffalo. "One shouldn't fritter his life playing the martyr to a short fuse."