In Rabid Transit

That was your coat—your only coat—or rather the only coat I’ve ever seen you wear—or rather a coat just like yours—and that was me assuming that that was you (wearing it)—whooshing by on the Wilson stop platform. Rather, that was me whooshing by—rather, the L-train was. I was simply sitting in it, trying and failing but trying to read a corny book.* My hope was that that was indeed you—and you saw me, too—and you’d cross all the cars linked together to get to me, sitting in the first car. But you didn’t. In fairness, I didn’t cross into any of the other cars to look for you. When I stepped off my stop, I looked for you, but the train hurled itself away from the platform too quickly for me to distinguish any of the faces contained within. Assuming that that was indeed you, were you on your way to love? That’s what I feared, and still fear now. 

26 April 2005 

*[I cannot fathom how all of you read fiction at the beach or in a park or in a café or aboard public transit. For the life of me I cannot read fiction anywhere outside of my flat. I do, however, manage to roll my eyes over (and grasp the meaning of) nonfiction, whilst in public. Methinks fiction demands more of my (dilapidating) mental facilities. Or rather: my (diminishing) mental faculties. Both are (were) structures of a sort, no?] 

[The very first car in an elevated ‘L’ train was the safest, or so I once believed. After all, that’s where the rail operator was; if anyone aboard caused a problem, the operator could stop the train and, presumably, radio for help. However, in a collision or a derailment, the first car is probably the most dangerous car to travel aboard. Hencethus, when confronted with a collusion or a derangement, methinks the last car is, by far, the safest. But since I never know exactly what’s going to happen, I never leave my flat. No. That’s not (entirely) true. Since I never know exactly what’s going to happen, I’ll take the bus instead. Since busses are slower, buses are safer. But since busses are slower, buses are infrequently on time. That’s my perception, anyway. The point is, if you want to live, stay inside. No. The point is, if you want to live, walk. They say it’s good for your heart. But if you go on foot, you might get mugged. And/or you might be bowled over by a bicycle or a scooter or a car or a truck or a bus. Or all of the above, if they’re part of a parade of lunatics. If nothing else, when you go on foot, you’re probably safe from a boat. So, actually, my point is, if you want to stay safe, don’t be in such a goddamned rush. Give yourself plenty of time. The ever-tardy bus offers the opportunity to practice patience. But who has the time for patience?] 

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