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Subway Journals: Part 6 by Ray Printer Friendly


Blood pumping through my head, making it ache. Pretty sure I have some pills somewhere, but no water and I'm choking on air at the moment. Find myself running to catch the train all too often, lately.

So tired.

Where does the time go when the night comes?

Blinded by white-light static and dreams of fame, ten years or ten seconds, and as I write, the blind lady steps onto the train. She carries a miniature cane, it looks like a two-foot candy cane made out of dull-silver aluminum tubing. She talks through three stops about how she doesn't take any shit from anybody just because she can't see, about how it's tough being blind in the city, her doctor told her not to take the subway, but she's not going to stop.

She talks about how it isn't the end of the world. The man she's talking to, when she first got onto the train, she sat down on him. He moved over to the next seat and she sat down next to him and started talking. Sometimes, he nods in agreement with what the blind lady is saying, and I kind of want to tell him that's not gonna work.

She keeps her eyes closed as she talks, and at 59th & Lex, she stands up and tells him to have a good holiday. I glance up as the doors open, and I see the blind lady open her eyes and take a quick peek at the platform in front of her. I can't tell if it's habit, or if she isn't as blind as she lets on.

Fingers dirty from counting money, green-disgusting and my eyes burn from forty-three or fifty-three thousand dollars, something like that. Each night, I end by counting more money than I'll make in years working at this place. Lots of folks want TVs, I guess.

The train snakes through the subway tunnel, throwing lightning-blue sparks, and squealing, a giant metal worm pitching a tantrum. My cold-burned lips ache and I have to bite my tongue to keep from licking them.

The train, stopped in the tunnel, frustrating, like when you're a little kid on a long trip. You fall asleep, and when you wake up, you look around, hoping you've arrived, and then you see you're only stopped at some red light in some strange town that has nothing for you. It's kind of like that frustration when the train stops in the middle of the dark and waits, it waits and so do you and there's nothing to see but nothing, and you just want to get there.

Skin-pinch discomfort and the random wind blows up my shirt with frigid fingers groping.

Entered By Tracie From Unknown
2011-03-30 03:10:49

You have a way of layering reality in between your sentences with such precision and slight of hand that I have no idea it is done; until upon reaching the end of the tale I am aware of how enthralled I have become!

Entered By Ray From Austin
2011-03-30 13:00:44

Thanks, Tracie. I appreciate your feedback, and that you took time to read. Glad I can entertain you for a bit.

Entered By Charlie Mine From Somewhere over the rainbow
2011-03-30 16:24:34

"it waits and so do you and there's nothing to see but nothing, and you just want to get there." You're still waiting, I bet.

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