June 24, 2011
I had been told that the 30th street station was basically across the street. In actuality, it was two blocks forward and three blocks left. While crossing a road, the sky decided I hadn’t been caught in the rain in a while. It opened its cloud and spewed down a river. The river must’ve had a dam somewhere up there though, because the rain only lasted two minutes. Finally, I pushed open the doors to the station. I followed the signs. I was 30 feet from the booth that would get me some tickets. “Boy you sure are a good lookin’ girl.” A man whose yellowed eye-whites circled earnest blue eyes had begun popping his feet down fast enough to keep up with my pace. He had come out of nowhere. “Are you single?” he asked of me. Immediately a swarm of metallic spiders crawled between my shoulder blades and nestled into the skin at the nape of my neck. My fingers, now turned to macaw feathers, instinctually slipped the cheap turquoise ring that I had bought for myself from my right hand to my left. “Yea, I’m actually married.” It was the spiders who whispered this voice through to the real world. Only belatedly did I add, “sorry.” He grinned and he bore it. His face was just about as wrinkled as the waves in his faded blonde hair. A lone metallic spider scurried into my nose. He smelt of grime, or at least the spider conversed with my eyes and concluded that the filth I could see under his fingernails would probably insinuate such a scent. I couldn’t stop smiling at this man. He seemed so nice, so genuine, so lonely, and yet so very chipper. I could see myself with this man. We could hang out in train stations, talking about what we could see. We could both never shower, and we could share secret smiling glances about the things that no one else would ever notice, because, really, we would be the only happy couple skulking around the train station. His brown jacket looked worn and comfortable. I know that he once was a young man, possibly handsome, probably happy. I awkwardly looked away; another spider had crawled into my socket and told me not to make eye contact. As the man’s feet issued quieter pops (distance does that to sound), he turned back and called out, “He’s a lucky one! You’re a real catch, and you’re gorgeous, too!” The metallic spiders melted away, as I realized that I was once again completely safe in being alone.