There’s a hum on the train that sounds like sadness, I can’t help but feel sympathetic of the seats left so callously by beautiful men and women. The steel of the doors opens and closes each time with less sincerity as the last. I can feel the eyes of the woman across from me, the way her mahogany eyes burn into me, it hurts, it reminds me of sunlight, the type of pain an arctic wonderer mighty bare at the first warmth of spring. she’s looking at my shins so intently I wonder if she can see the scars on both knees from falling off my bike when I was younger, does she know I haven’t washed these pants in six weeks. those damned hazel eyes with reflected sparks of the whirling lights screaming by our train. Those damned amber eyes of hers, she knows doesn’t she. She knows I stole. She already told my mother I took twenty dollars from her purse last week, this nameless woman has already made the call, the police will already be waiting for me when I emerge from the station. They will have guns drawn and handcuffs open and ready for my small pale wrists. Her and her husband have been plotting this coup for years now. They have been in cahoots with my mother since my conception. Blood and milk poured on September 5th, 1990 and on Friday July 13th, 1991 at approximately 10:45 EST my mother and father gathered like vultures above my body with these nameless faces all knowing that today they would get rid of me finally; the twenty dollars I stole was the long con. They planted that money knowing my greed would push me to take it. So be it that’s how life goes. I can relish in these last humming moments of freedom before 42nd street arrives. There is a man and his son next to me, they don’t look happy, but, one day they will taste the sweet kiss of nostalgia for this day. where they were together in a box that smelt like iron and earth. In twenty years the father will be cooking hotdogs over a sparsely lit charcoal grill, and as the son tastes the bitterness of the mustard seed he will remember this day and he will maybe smile and his dad will smile back and say, “what?”
There is a woman reading a couple benches down from me, I can’t make out what it is she’s reading but I bet it’s good, I bet it’s a love story and she has so miraculously projected her own life into the story that she is now emphatic with finishing. The woman in the book shares her love for hibiscus tea on cold Sunday afternoons? Unbelievable. This woman believes so intently that the book was written by one of her friends under an alias, the book is about her and the taste of popularity is too much. She breaks down into a fey of tears and laughs and cries. people ask if she’s alright ask if she’s hurt and she’ll responds with, “it’s better than you’ll ever know”.
The intercom blares on in a voice that sounds like rust on a gate, “now approaching 42nd street transfers available to the…” I look at the couple across from me one last time as if to say, “goodbye” or maybe, “fuck you” I’m not sure which feeling it is. and they’re looking back, there isn’t amber in her eyes anymore, now in the static mess of the station all colors faded. she bats her eyes to the door as if to tell me, “get. seek what you have wrought” and I oblige. dragging each foot like a dredge man walking through the swamps I stumble down the platform. I get up to the stairs and think about the child again, wishing I would’ve told him, “hello” or the woman with fleeting Amber eyes, wishing I would’ve told her that it was alight that I deserve this. I wished I would’ve kissed the seat that bore my weight for thirty-five minutes, wish I could’ve whispered a compliment to the steel door that opened and closed for me so graciously. but I did none of these things and now I am walking up stairs that read, “watch your step” but they were backwards so I read them, “step your watch” I laughed.
I crossed through the turn-isle and there were no policemen, no angels with their harps crying out, no moment of significant importance. I walked out into the wet summer heat and spent that twenty dollars on a bouquet of daffodils and tulips.