It was one of those mornings. The weather was perfect, she walked 10 blocks to her destination watching the people come and go. This one trying one of the new citibikes for the first time, struggling to figure it out. This one walking with nothing in his hands, just wearing that suit that fit him like a glove. That one juggling her cigarette and her coffee, and someone else’s coffee.
That one in scrubs, rushing past that one talking about his unemployment check with a buddy. That guy on the street with a broom, almost sweeping his trash on her shoes.
She imagined the birds eye view of her city and imagined all those outside of it who marvel at this: this ordinariness, this coming and going.
She swam in a sea of people to transfer from the M to the 7, against a stream of people going 7 to M. She wondered, why don’t we just stay put or trade places with those people since we are going to where they just were. She thought about how everyone took a moment to pick out the clothes they put on this morning, the makeup, the hair do. She thought about gorillas and wondered about the brain cells that make us that much different that we actually care about clothes.
She thought: we are all just these animals with bigger brains so we make stuff important. She spied some leggings in a window, one leg stars, one leg stripes…of course she wanted them, but then that other part of her brain said, no, those are not for you.
She sat on the subway and looked around at who was riding with her. The man across the way seemed to be fidgeting with something under the bag on his lap. She recognized that fidget from the flasher of 2002. She made the mistake of following his arm to his hand.
There it was. Flesh. It was a, wait, oh seriously….that is not supposed to be out on the subway sir. That is what animals do, and you are not an animal. She changed seats and made conversation with a fellow female rider, then switched cars completely.
Once she got off, the car she HAD been riding in passed her, and now he was sitting with the hand in question, resting on the seat next to him. And she took solace in her family rule: No street clothes are to be worn on the bed.