Monday, July 18, 2011

People of the {Metro} Underground

As she leaned her head against the window, the evening train creaked along the underbelly of the world above, a sad song made its way from the iPod through the earphones and into her head.  Her eyes opened with a start and  she gasped for her breathe as it seemed that  all the air in her lungs had been sucked out. She had almost forgotten that song and the boy who once played it for her.
He turned the page slowly on the book that he was pretending to read. The train was crowded and the bag of another passenger was leaning awkwardly against his shoulder, invading the bubble of personal space. He lifted his head and made eye contact with a pretty girl half way up the car. He should of glanced away, but didn’t. He didn’t know her, but the way she bit her lip was so familiar
Her tears dripped from her face unto the train platform. She didn’t even try to wipe them away, as strangers wearing their important badges from their important jobs looked on.

He balanced the tambourine on his left foot as he brushed the hair out of his face. People came out of the busy metro station and walked past his empty guitar case without a second glance, their eyes wide and fixated on the illuminated screens of their blackberries and smart phones.  He caught pieces of conversations;  dinner plans, lovers’ quarrels, the tail end of business deals, details of lives that he will never know.   He pulled out the harmonica from his back pocket, took a deep breath and blew.
Looking at the crisscrossing lines on the subway map she wished that the stops and stations would have names like,  “Home,”  “The Love of Your Life,” “Happiness,” “The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich,” then she would have a better idea where to get off, where not be lost.


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