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Monday, 29 September 2014

I Take The A Train


I take the A train along with the masses of sticky, smelly, sour-face souls, who wedge their way through the doors, that quickly and irreverently shuttle them in.

I take the A train.

          I take the A train, and once inside, I become nothing but an entity taking up space on the seven passenger seat.  I do not want to be touched...no one wants to be touched, though it is impossible to sit so close without an elbow; a wrist; the sleeve of a t-shirt; a denim-clad thigh or some backpack invading your space.  And yet it is obvious that each individual sitting shoulder to shoulder is narcissistically contained; though their bodies touch, they allow nothing else to be exchanged.  Every person sits in his or her bubble feeling entitled to his or her own personal air.

       I take the A train, and I stare straight through the eyes of the man seated in front of me or was it a woman?  I cannot tell;  I do not see him.  I do not read his soul, nor can he see mine. In front of him he would not later recall if I were a woman, or if I had been a man.

       I take the A train, and someone shouts that has his pockets have been picked.  I do not hear.  I do not jump to action to help him, but instinctively I  tuck my legs under the seat and pull my bags closer.  I close my eyes and bow my head.  I will not beg of God to save him...to save me...I will not recall praying, but then too, I will not take note that I have let evil pass by unnoticed.

      I take the A train, and next to me I can feel the sniffles in her cry.  I do not feel as the sleeve of her blouse heaves up and down my exposed arms. I will not look.; I will not feel;  I will not care.  I  pull my Samsung Galaxy Tab S from my pocket and swipe away at Candy Crush. I audibly sigh.  My shoulders droop in dejection; the corners of my mouth pull down as an opportunity slips me by.  I have lost level 16.  I take the A train, I do not feel her pain.

      I take the A train, and a boy with a crusty mouth and eyes lost in their sockets, swivels his head my way.  He looks beyond me; he looks wistfully past my vacant stare.  I do not see. I do not smell the aroma from the soup kitchen in which he will get a hot meal that night.   I pull from my pocket a Snicker's Bar, and I plow into it, just stopping now and then to pry the caramel from the back of my teeth.  He does not care.  He has seen many beautiful faces before; faces so clean of emotion that each distinguishing feature seems to disappear.

     I take the A train, and I blot out the noise of animated conversations, about getting her hair done; about how he found her talking to her ex; about how there was a new pastor at the church; about how they missed the last train and had to catch this one; about how she can't believe that her husband's mother wanted to come visit when the two didn't get along.

     I take the A train, and yet I am not there.  I get off at my stop, and another entity takes my place.

     I take the A train.  45 minutes of my life gone.  45 minutes of lessons to be learned, and yet I've turned my back.

     Can I tell you something?  I take the A train every day, twice a day.  I take the A train.

Copyright © 2014 Susan M. Wolfe~I Take The A Train