View Full Version : On-the-spot #4

04-25-2005, 02:20 PM

04-26-2005, 04:32 AM
The regulars are getting on my subway now. There the young couple, always in the same situation every payday. She is practically carrying him. He's drunk and mouthy. She's his humble little servant, making sure he gets back home again tonight, where she will tuck him in and make another excuse to his boss in the morning. Same thing happens every week, he blows most of his paycheck at the local Huddle Club. She comes looking for him about closing time, and keeps his from passing out in an alley and herds him on home.

I've tried talking to her about him. Maybe it was none of my business just like the man who overheard us talking had said to me. But, watching her waste her time on the drunk makes my heart hurt for her. Someday she will probably be riding the subway every night just as I do, to get to my second job. I was once like her, following and trying to protect my own drunk husband. Some day she may get sick of it like I did, but hopefully before she gets as old as I am.

04-26-2005, 08:20 PM
The girl is pulling out a candy bar. Should I warn her? She looks like she could be a tourist, with that bulge in her pocket shaped like a digital camera. Perhaps she doesn't know. Perhaps I should stand up...

Too late. Metro Transit's sweeping down....the cuffs are coming out...

Well, at least the train is clean.

04-29-2005, 12:16 AM
Nobody notices me, sitting there in the corner seat, curled up even smaller than usual. I hold a book as a shield; no-one glances twice at a reader on the subway, and it allows me to observe people without appearing to.
She gets on at the stop after mine. Looking at her makes me drop any pretense of reading and just stare openly. People like her appear on my train from time to time, people who are worth writing about, and so I reach in my bag for a notebook. I don't take my eyes off her.
She is tall, I write, tall and lanky, with long reddish-blond hair. She wears a trenchcoat of silver, over black leather pants and a top that laces, and a tophat, black. She turns to look at me briefly; her eyes are blue-gray. She wears a messanger bag - black again - dotted with pins. I look down; her boots are scuffed black, lace-up.
Demon, I name her, for that's what the biggest pin proclaims. And then the train stops, and I must get off. She watches me go. As the train pulls away, I turn for one last glance.
The girl raises a hand to me, in silent farewell, and suddenly, I know I'll see her again.

black winged fighter
04-29-2005, 02:46 AM
I stand back from the door, a sweaty palm gripping the cold steel bar. The doors hiss open and the station's foul odor seeps in, an invisible cloud. Business men walk in, wearing gray on body and in soul; the dreary routine of past days has bleeched the color from their eyes and hair.

A few women step daintily through the doors, skirted, painted women who scan the crowd hungrily for a catch. Disappointed by the meager men, they reel their lines back in and shut down, waiting.

The doors begun to shut, when a man runs up, calling for the doors to wait. He slips in just before the train's lips seal, gobbling us all. His momentum carries him through the press of businessmen, and he comes to stand next to me. The observant female anglers angle their hips and shoulders, eyeing the man's body.

Golden hair and eyes filled with energy, he smiles at the people around him. I sense that he is different from the business men and their drab shells, different even from the women who examin him.

When he gets off, I do, too; I have always felt I have a date with fate.

01-17-2008, 08:42 PM
I've picked a lively section of the train. I prefer that. Less happens. I know this from experience, though once, while riding home from the zoo with a group of children, one asleep on my lap, a necklace valuable only to me, was torn from my neck by a young hoodlum when the train stopped and the door opened.

I've learned my lesson. Never ride a subway looking helpless. But the woman across the aisle looks exactly that way. I notice her about the same time as a group of young men from the back. She looks to be ninety, with a slight hunch to her back and a face that a palm reader might become lost in.

I watch the young thugs amble over. they have a way of walking that sets them apart. I think that they are like jungle animals, putting their arms out to the sides to appear bigger, badder, as if to say, "Don't any of you think to stop us! We'd be only to happy to hurt you, too."

Now the elderly woman has noticed. She clutches her purse as though her life depends on keeping this possession.

01-17-2008, 08:58 PM
The doors open and a serpent of people slithered onto the train, dispersing into seats to the demise of the collective being they first appeared to be. Once I saw them as individuals instead of that mulit-colored, textured creature - olive drab, denim and black scaled as it was, I saw they each had a story.
There is a moment when each person can choose to know more, to tap into an intuition that lays dormant and waiting. Trains are a perfect place to try it out. And now the disassembled creature, each a person, tells me who they are. I let them expose a piece of their soul to me. I can see how she in all black with spanish moss tangles of hair was once beautiful. She is beaten by life. Her joy has escaped through a broken window. I can see how he, in the Army jacket would rather shut the bad things out. He sends a longing smile out the window probably toward a girl he just said good-bye to. Dirty denim hangs from the boy, doing his best to impress friends, longing for acceptance he doesn't get at home. he shows off in loud full laughs and mocks the woman in black leather. She rolls her eyes but can't but smile, she is tolerant. she is good.

01-18-2008, 11:59 AM
Funny how when the last call comes, people drink up and rush out. They never notice me in the corner, aiding their egress into the night, my night. Most buses and trains are on hourly runs, plenty of time for the hunt.

The bartender doesn't look up as I leave, a shadow amidst shadows. Abandoned cars wait like empty coffins, but I don't fill all of them, just one.

I can taste the pair, the last to leave, punk hairstyles and Goth attire, as if they knew anything about that which they fail to emulate.

An alley proves enough privacy for alcohol-fueled lust, and the lack of cooperation on his lower part. She laughs, surprisingly quoting Macbeth's less-than-capable gatekeeper 'increasing desire but decreasing performance'.

This I will do, and they will never forget as long as they live, for 75 seconds, give or take a couple.