We walk onto the train, dew of the morning's shower still clinging to our hair; we rose ahead of the early autumn sun so we could hurry up and relax. As always, I am wide-awake and smiling, taking one last breath of the crisp, foggy morning before crossing the threshold with her in my arms. She is still thick with sleep, but makes an excellent traveling companion nonetheless, offering laughter where expected, and wit, its edge dulled only slightly by morning, when necessary.

We've got our choice of seats; she wants to ride backward. She is wrapped tightly in my arms, and although I start to say a few words -- about the train, and the frost, and how foggy it's likely to be on the water -- her replies are increasingly sluggish and, finally, I am discussing the merits of pumpkin pie with an empty car.

I am abuzz with the morning and the girl and the foliage and spend the hour with my face buried in her hair and my mind buried in her dreams. I'm moving islands and jobs and families and loyalties trying to make sense of it; the sights and smells and feelings send me back to autumns past, when my happiness was something apparent, something so tangible you could trip over it in the dark. I am wistful, positively pathetic, but not alone; but what about tommorrow, and the next day? Better not to ask, better to live in the moment, where I've got a girl who loves me asleep and dreaming in my arms -- dreaming, maybe, of me! When tomorrow I wake up alone, I can pretend it's only temporary; after all, I am loved!

We're coming up on our stop quickly -- more damp, cold air that carries on it the hint of last night's fires. I turn my meditative nuzzle into a short kiss and wake-up call that carries with it more than a little excitement. As she emerges slowly from her dream, stretching in the endearing way only cute girls know about, she inhales sharply through her mouth and giggles. I look down and notice a profound wet spot on the my jacket where she had been happily asleep while I fretted and sighed. She knows I don't mind; she looks up at me and says, with a sheepish smile, "Sorry."

And I am happy, as happy as autumn requires I be. So is she; so happy she drooled all over me. So happy she's not embarassed. So happy that all the tomorrows there are just don't matter; nothing matters except the frost on the pumpkins and the leaves on the ground and the warm fuzzies in our hearts.

i swear i did *not* misspell endearing the first time around. nor did i leave out any nouns.

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