12 July 2011

Clean Living

To the angry little asian man in a royal blue windbreaker jacket, I hope you made it home well. You sat on the morning D train with the two seats to your left, awkwardly unoccupied, as the cart was significantly full. It was with a sudden energy, easily confused for violence, that you appeared a paper towel in hand and wiped down the seat next to you. You then indicated the seat's availability to some of the orbiting commuters who watched you. None sat. You weren't please by this.

Frustrated at having your kind gesture declined, you yelled out more words, foreign to myself and most others around; then you resumed your bacterial purging, this time stretching your attack upwards to include the college advertisement. Perhaps you were sending a message to any of the observing students, those who dreamt of an un-matriculated adulthood

After a few more tries, you caught your fish. Or did you? She was tall and possibly, not a student; her body seemed tense and blossomed by anxious nerves that caused an almost seemingly suspension of breath, as she descended onto the offered seat. No doubt she had seen your crusade at its various spasms, having been witness to it for a good two stations before deciding to sit. Why did she sit? Did you wonder at all? It almost made one imagine her having OCD, or being a mysophobe. A brave one, who thought the morning a perfect canvas for painting a challenge to her fear.

I almost burst into laugh fragments when you turned your head to face her, and delivered the longest awkward-laden glance I've ever seen. It was a look of disappointment, of letdown, and regret. As if at that moment, you had immediately come to the fork in your road. And between having seated neighbors and not, you had finally chosen Not, when she decided to park beside you. Maybe you sensed her discomfort and you felt it defeated your purpose. Maybe, she seemed too obvious about appeasing, what seemed to her to be, your otherwise ridiculous action. Maybe she smelled bad. Who knows? All I know is you reached out over her head and gave the college ad another once-over, maybe stressing to her that you had meant for a student to sit beside you. I again, almost died when she leaned forward to accommodate you. She sat at the edge of her seat.

You didn't mind to stare at the side of her face as she sat forward and began to text. Your eyes fell right into her screen and either read or scrutinized. All the while, I never noticed you had a friend with you, who sat perpendicular and was hidden, to me, by standing and most interfering passengers. It dried off some of the imagined hysteria I previously drowned upon you. You passed comments to this individual who didn't seem as serious as much as worried. At some point, you and the OCD wipe the seat and college ad together--I had to look away for fear lest I rupture.

When you exited the cart on Grand Street, I for some reason imagined you in a turtle costume, with a great big mahogany shell.

You left. Your friend remained, as did your neighbor. I left one stop away. I hope you found a fine day. I hope sincerity and honesty were displayed before you and the way a current runs through a battery--I hope it was as that, that you found use for these things.

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