(2018-11-28) First Time or Last Time
Two strangers meet at the station, a local and a new transplant.

Station House Calaveras
Wed Nov 28, 2018 — Wed Nov 28 13:15:34 2018

The old station house shines with well kept marble floors and metal molding around ceilings, doors and windows. Some of the central area, including old, tall-backed wooden benches, remains for ambiance and visitor comfort. The exterior rooms have been converted into a mini-mall. Its a destination spot not only for tourists but locals as well. The history preserved, there is still a small Amtrak station that has access to the tracks. Most visitors arriving by train must come through Station House on their way to Calaveras. The shops are kitsch, selling valuables and well crafted gift items along with some food services for visitors. In affect, the old station has been converted into a mini-mall.

There are stairs up and an open gallery with more shops, the old central offices cleared out to make the space even larger and accommodate more retailers. There are hanging plants in this area as well as potted plants throughout. It is as common to pause at the rail and look down as it is to take food to the benches on the first floor while not shopping. Most of the locals seem to be dressed well here, accounting for the prices of the kitsch items and food being offered at this destination spot.

It was a cool winter day outside, probably perfect for being in doors and all. Most here belong to the visiting the stores of Station House, yet there is that small element related to travel, with a small section still serving as actual services for trains to other cities and all. By the way he has a large bag slung over his shoulder, one would guess Cody is such a traveller. He comes from the locaiton of Station 9 and is entering Station House proper. The bag is large and green, one of those old military bags from last century. It seems stuffed full of things and is tied off with a rather thick rope. Really, thicker than needed, unless one is familiar with this sort of rope used around ranches. Tucked into that rope are thick gloves. He wears a tan Carheart like jacket, over blue jeans and tan boots, maybe Wolverines, they look a few years old and well worn, but rugged and still functioning without holes, just looks like the bend with his foot when he walks. A brimmed hat over his head, pushed back a little as if just tired of travel for the now. WIth some food vendors meant for shoppers, they catch occasional trvellers, and he's heading for one now that offers coffee with some pastry or other, but more the coffee, he moves to get in line but first unshoulders the bag and lets it plod down near a bench as if to claim it, to enjoy that coffee.

Already in line at the vendor another traveler is standing there with a bag at her feet. It's balanced beside her leg as if the weight of carrying it is just too much to bear for the moment. It's not a rolling suitcase necessarily, but there's a small strap on the top used for lifting it. Only as the blonde steps forward in line, she grasps the handle and tugs it along with her without wheels at all, before balancing it again. The girl looks absolutely exhausted and eyes the caffeinated beverages almost desperately. It's not her turn yet, so she turns a little to people watch as another train drops off a set of passengers. Goes to show how long she's been hanging around the station if she wasn't on this train. A few passengers catch her eye but from Texas, she's used to the cowboy look and seems to favor it for herself. Mostly. A nod goes to the fellow passenger as he falls into line behind her, perhaps a kindred spirit, drifting along like her.

Pulling up behind her, his bag settled, he gives a look then notices her people watching as she shuffles her bag along. "Looks like you could take a load off," he comments, "Drop it off with my stuff, I'll keep an eye on it from here." His hands are perfectly capable of gestures to show where he means, but he instead uses his head to turn or point with a chin or nod, to where he grabbed a bench. He leaves it there, it could be unwanted, the conversation in general and who knows, she could think he's scamming her to get her goods in the bag. He leaves the offer there, and turns to watch some people himself, following along in the line right behind her.

There's a moment of doubt that flashes over her features. It was all she owned in the world and her eyes rake over the bag before taking a look around to maybe gauge the honest look of the travelers passing through. It wasn't that far from the counter where she stood. "Sure," she says finally, "Hold my spot." Without waiting for agreement, she takes the handle and 'rolls' the bag over to the table. Instead of plunking it down on top, she tucks it beneath, sort of hiding it before returning to claim her place in line as it moves another step forward. "Thanks, much better. I was dreading carrying a drink and food with the suitcase." An offered hand, "I'm Carsyn. Carsyn Cross."

A nod in agreement, her spot held. "I bet it is," better he means, as she offers thanks. His hand takes hers, a little rough for wear that hand, scruffy like his face maybe. "That's a pretty name, good ring to it. I'm Cody .. West." He hesitated a moment, but she offered her last name too, his was offered too. "Just visiting, or just never ran with my circles?" Giving away he's completely local and still possible for them to never have met. Not a big city, big enough to get lost in if one wanted or didn't care as much to be known. He could of been either too. His thumbs hitch into the bottom front pockets of that tan coat, as if needed a place to rest because he's not a hand talker, head nods sure, hands are not for talking, theyhave other purposes moet likely.

Shake, shake. "Well met, Cody West." Not formal enough to call him Mr. West. Withdrawing her hand, Carsyn glances around a little. "New to town, I guess you'd say. Just a first stop along the way, or the last, depending on how it goes here." For a response, it's vague, but it doesn't seem to be deliberate or calculated. Then it's her turn to order and she steps to the counter. "Large hot chocolate in a to-go cup. No whipped cream this time, I want a lid instead." She pays for her own then steps aside for them to make it and let him order. "So you're from around here?"

"Taking a shot here? Interview or something maybe?" Only a guess, one reason why it could be the last stop, the job of her dreams, not that it carres in his voice, more curious why it could be the last stop probably. She orders, he waits, as they fulfil hers, he orders his, "Coffee, just coffee … yeah black." Orders and interacts with, paying for his with dollars, crumpled even, then waiting and turning back to Carsyn. "Me, yeah, my whole life. Born and bred, you know?" Or maybe she doesn't, but he leaves it there, not elaborating much himself while waiting for his drink. The change he was given is shoved down into a front coat pocket as if that's safe enough.

"I have applied a few places over the internet before I left Texas. One is as a dispatcher and that's the one I'm hoping for." Carsyn leaves it somewhat vague, this time pretty deliberately. "We'll see how it goes." Collecting her cup she holds it in both and soaks up the warmth. Her jacket is serviceable, something like a pea coat with twin black oversized buttons down the front over worn jeans and what looks to be a jersey shirt boasting the Dallas Cowboys colors easily seen with her unbuttoned coat for the moment. "How do you like it here in umm," she hesitates over the name before offering a tentative, "Calaveras?"

Waiting for his drink, he nods to her in agreement, "Hope you get it then." Agreeing with her own hope, no comment on hoping its the end of the line or note, cordial, a little friendly even he shows some smile at the thought of it. Taking his drink then, he motions with it, slightly, a stretch for hand gestures from Cody, towards where there stuff is, untouched. "Its an end of line sort of place, you get stuck here I guess. Lots to do in town I hear, but I just like it, plenty of wild in it still, you know. Good mountains, good sunsets, all that stuff." The grin returns a little, "Yeah, Calaveras is where the train driver dropped you off. Maybe its not the end of the line, but its a good place to pass through I suppose."

"Up until now I've lived in Texas. Not one town too terribly long, but dotting in suburbs all around it. Dallas, I mean." Carsyn does seem to have liked the city with the positive note to her tone and the look on her features. "I hope I get it. I guess I'm of the mind that if it's to be it'll be." Catching that gesture towards their things, she leads the way over and slides into one of the chairs, or a booth, whatever it is they are sharing. "Is there? A lot to do in the town? I'd like to look around but I want to take my time in getting to everything. I'm in my hurry to leave."

"Dallas, would of been my second guess," he says as she offers over where she is mostly from there. "Let it be, I'm good with that." Cody responds as he walks along with her towards their stuff, where he ceremoniously waits for her to sit first before taking a seat of his own. "Well, that's what they say. I tend to stick to my own I guess. Out near Granja Basin mostly." A pause, he considers, "Ranching country out there, good grazing. Probably where the town name comes from and all." A shrug, he blows at his drink to cool it, "But like skiing, sports, crafts, they say there is a lot, I haven't tried much of it. Not yet at least."

A smile hints at finding purchase on her lips but it totters slightly when he mentions the Granja Basin, a look of recognition takes its place. "The ranching community. You belong out there with that group then? I've read some about it here on the way in but mostly from the internet." Her brows shoot up when he confesses not trying much. "You've lived here all your life and never went skiing? I'm good at skiing. My family went a for three winters in a row and I learned a lot about it in that time. You should try it sometime. There's plenty on the slopes around here now isn't there?"

"Yeah, something like that, I mean folks out there spend plenty of time in the city, just so much to get done out there." As if little time for it, Cody takes a drink of his hot coffee, cooled enough he gets a small gulp not just a sip, but his lips purse. Probably hot and he's not showing it so much. "Work is out there, but I've got some classes up at UCC too." A pause as she speaks of the slopes then he shrugs, "I don't know, folks in my part of town don't go up there much. Most don't have a pair of skiis, or a car for half the matter." Catching himself, he realizes that may seem negative, "I'd like to try sometime I suppose, when I have time for it you know. Sounds like you like it. You planning to go up to the Pass here, get back to some skiing yourself?"

"Oh really?" Eyes lift to his in a slight bit of surprise. "I looked into UCC also and applied before coming. I'll be having a few classes there too, but I'm only going if I get the job applied for. I've got to either rent a unit in Willow Heights or a dorm room, if they allow that on part time schooling. Otherwise, I've got a lot of looking to do in the next few days." Carsyn takes a drink of her not so hot anymore chocolate and follows with another since it was so good. "That's the second job I applied for. A ski instructor. Maybe it includes housing or something? I'll find out for sure, but either way, whoever calls first is where I'm going. If I can balance both I'll do it. I'd like to ski even if I don't work there, but like others, it sounds like, I don't have a car. How do people get around here? An Uber?"

"Housing is good, if you can get that, but I'd think being a dispatcher would cut the mustard for getting your own place." Cody is business enough about all that. "Maybe we'll have a class together, what's your major?" That out there, honest curious from the fellow, then a chuckle even. "Uber, sure, or a car. If you're just in the city Uber or whatever, even walking, if you have the time. But you start going out of town little, best to have your own car, not get stranded, always have the option to go. Any car you can get, mine's a bet up old focus, but it runs, its warm in winter, and it has a cupholder." Like the three things any man needs in a car, maybe a fourth, but those three are constant 'needs'.

"That's what I was thinking too. I've got plenty of ideas and I'm going soon to check on the position. Ultimately, I'd like to get more into being a police officer. Not just an officer, but further. I'm taking a class in Leadership Skills mostly and a class in forensics." There's a nod given in regards to the advice for traveling out of town with a car. "Can't forget the cup holder," she laughs a little, amused at the requirements. "I sort of gathered you were a pickup man, not the focus sort."

"Sounds like you're taking the right courses to be an officer then Carsyn," returns Cody about her class load. "I should take a leadership class to meet requirements, most of my stuff will be Ag Ed, with a few classes out in the field." Nothing on forensics though, he leans back in and nods, "You got that right." Cupholder, important business. Then a shake of his head, "In my heart, yeah a pickup would be good, until my wallet agrees with that, its a beat up focus for now. Someday, a hope and a dream. Like waiting onthe wind to turn." It'll happen when it does, no matter how many wishes are put into the wish box. A grin though, "So you're carless at the moment, getting a car here, or brining it up from Dallas when you feel you need to get out of the city a little?"

"I sold everything down there. At least everything that isn't in my suitcase. I'll start all over here, including a car. I've got the money for something modest, but I want to make sure it's running first. Also that it has every intention of staying running too." The hot chocolate is given another sip before Carsyn gives a little shrug of her shoulders. "Something like an officer, but I need my degree I have in Criminal Justice for it and leadership, so once I have that down I'll be doing good. I am taking the forensics and biology just for the cushion on the resume for when I'm ready to apply."

"Yeah, running is a good thing to find in a car," says Cody, who's care may look like its used for the getting of groceries, but it runs. "Sounds like you're taking serious stuff, I take what I need and then," he pauses, hint of sheepish grin there, "I'll take the easiest class, just to make sure I'm getting my credits. Job first though, I get it." He lifts his drink, as if to touch his hat with it, or imply tipping of said hat. Then he starts to rise, "Carsyn, I'm gonna get going here, lots to do, just got back in." Putting cup down, he digs into his pack real quick, a smooth motion to loosen the tie string of it, "Just settle on in, if you decide you want to see a little bit of Calaveras." A pause, he grunts just a little to dig something out, paper and pen, notes on it for classes maybe, he opens towards a new page, "I'll leave you my number, you call it when you're ready." Not if, he writes his name and number down, old school like and hands it over, before moving to cinch the sack and get on his way.

"I think so too." Carsyn agrees, amused a little. "I don't usually spell out what it is I want to do completely, that way if I fail at it, I don't look like an idiot." Even if she sounds like she's joking around she's telling the truth. His abrupt mention of his departure has her blinking in surprise but she offers a nod just the same, "Oh of course, I didn't mean to keep you. I guess you are ready to get home after your trip. I'm ready to go settle in too. It was nice meeting you." His touch of cockiness is noted but she does take the number, glancing at it and his writing before looking up again to watch him depart. "Later, Cody West."

His writing could be better, certainly not the worst at all, and in cursive even. "Later Carsyn Cross, good luck on those jobs." He intones and does tip his heat, after slinging the bag on a shoulder. Then he is free to grab the remainder of his coffee to drink it before getting out to his car. He looks back once, maybe grins, then is gone into the night, or day actually.

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