Tuesday, June 22, 2010

forced entry #223


i got on the train at 14th street, had walked there from 23rd down 7th avenue. the station was so hot the walls were sweating and the dull buzzing from the lights got muffled in the humidity. people stood along the platform shifting in their damp clothes, looking down the tunnel every so often, searching for oncoming subway lights, the relief of an air-conditioned car. i walked to the front and waited while leaning on a beam that was covered in cracked, eroded paint that chipped and fell in the heat. like sunburned skin peeling away. it finally arrived and with it a barreling wind that blasted through the station like hot breath. i got in the car and found a seat and opened up my book.

the first thing i notice is that there was no ac. the second is that the floor near my seat is sticky. the third is that there is no ac.

i take a deep breath and let my shoulders slump and scoot further into the corner. at the next stop two women get on and one sits down next to me, beckoning her friend to sit next to her. the one next to me is large and wearing brown stretch pants and a huge tshirt that hangs in folds over her belly. her friend is wearing jeans and a jean jacket and her shirt sparkles pink beneath it. the hips on the one next to me push me further in the corner but i dont mind, i like the cushiony feeling of them against my leg.

she begins to fall asleep and her head lolls from side to side with the swaying train. her friend remains awake and looks at all the advertisements lining the car. i can see beads of sweat on the sleeping woman and her eyes fluttering and i wonder if she is having a dream and if so of what. is it hot in her dream? is she thinner? the train stops and she opens her eyes and slowly looks around then lets her head fall limp again and her eyes close and the dream resumes.

when i get to my stop and get off the train people rush by me to get on. i overhear one person say, shit there aint no ac on in here, and it makes me wonder why no one else seemed to notice before. as i walk up the stairs and the train begins to speed away i take another look into the car and see the large, slumbering woman. her eyes were still closed. i hoped she was still dreaming.

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Creative Commons License
:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.