Here’s some things I wrote about people I watched while in the subway!
It was his job, nay his requirement, to make the world better. Sure, it would exist without him, but if not in shambles, closer to them in his absence.
He would make it better.
If a person stopped at the red light a little further out then they meant to (blocking the path of any pedestrians who wanted to utilize their rights to the right edge of the crosswalk) he would knock on their window and explain the error of their ways. If a paper describing a service unneeded or a band unheard of was on a post (littering our sight with his presence) he would tear it down and find the appropriate receptacle.
He was. Not very useful.
At age 52 another woman thought her to look not a day over 45. Though the mistake was supposedly flattering, she knew it didn’t mean she was attractive.
At age 24 she had celebrated her little sister’s 21st by escaping to a local pub. Though her newly legal sister had to force her ID on the barkeep, our protagonist was asked and analyzed by the same man because her legality at this establishment was in question. After the embarrassment of seeming to be a lawbreaker as opposed to the mentor she desired to appear as to her younger sister, she then wasn’t able to show of any skills of seduction either.
Her family liked meals together and didn’t mind meals alone too. Neither did they mind the extra weight that came with those meals. She had the unluckiest metabolism of her family of fatties. Nobody made her feel bad about her weight. Nobody except the world. A world that thought she looked like a perfect piece of veal – young and plump. Delicious. Too bad we don’t like food the way we like people.
His throat hoarse from a full day of howling on the subways, he once again perched himself against a pole and strummed his out of tune guitar and attempted to make his voice heard over the rickety train wheels. His fingers were hard with calluses that prevented bleeding and his forehead was sweaty with sweat of a person who was overweight and yet decided physical exertion should be a constant in his life. He scurried from train to train, half panting, half regurgitating sound from a throat rawer than any WWE fan’s wet dream.
I didn’t give him any money.
I sat awestruck by the performance being put on in front of me.
He wasn’t just playing Hey Jude on a wood whistle with a recording of someone else’s piano exploits backing him up. His face made all the jerky, near orgasmic movements that a bass player at a public school who is a little more talented than the rest of his jazz band makes to prove his passion for the art of music. When the music that he played had rest, he did not. Instead he opted to mime large smacks on the imaginary piano that rolled a foot in front of wherever he decided to be. Where he decided to be was always the most dramatic place to be. Whether it was with his back to the mic, walking toward the exit of the subway platform or if it was crouched down, eyes closed “feeling” the recorded piano and Incanese woodwind playing a bastardization of the Beatle’s hit, his poses illustrated how much he cared. And he cared a lot. He posed a lot.
The subway train came. It was loud. He no longer was. At least relatively. He reached down and turned off his boombox and his emotions.