Die Writing

On the metro, No. 17

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on July 4, 2012

There is a young couple on a bench near me. The car is very crowded, so it’s hard to see them. I mostly get glimpses. They guy is the conspicuously relaxed, overly slouched cocky youngster. He is tall, athletic, with his long muscular arm loosely draped over his girlfriend’s shoulders. He never looks at her. She is only indirectly the focus of his attention – he is rather interested in others appreciating his beautiful acquisition. A youthful lack of sensibility, to be outgrown and forgiven.

The girl is beautiful to match the boy, lithe, topped with ferocious blond curls. She also pays little attention to her companion, mostly talking to her girlfriends, one bench behind. (In a very high school arrangement, the girls sitting in the back are not as attractive as the couple in the front.)

In a brief glimpse, I catch her staring out the dark window of the train car. Her eyes have wandered off a thousand miles, and the teenage exuberance has drained from her face. She looks drab and old. She bears the expression of someone resigned to the fact that the best years are now a distant and dusty memory. The stark change is a picture of how deep loneliness can find you anywhere, even in the midst of popularity and a pressing crowd.

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A little girl is asleep, propped up against her mother’s shoulder. I cannot actually see them directly because of the crowd. Somehow, I can see their reflection in the tilted glass of the car’s windows. The mother bears the child’s slight weight with all the heroism and power of Atlas casually holding up the globe. She is relaxed and exuberant. Her daughter wholly up on the bench, curled and tucked into her the ball of her spindly arms and legs.

The mother smiled all the way to the last stop.

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