I’m riding the train from Springfield to New York City on four hours sleep and weak dining car coffee. I pull out a recent New Yorker magazine folded open to Alice Munro’s story, Haven. I read a paragraph then stare out the window. The sky drips blue and black, as if doused with a gas station Slurpee and a pack of crushed double stuffed Oreos.
The day begins. In the rush to get from here to there to here, I forget to pay attention to the spaces in between. A slip of wetlands on the narrow edge of the tracks. I tune out the gallery owner who struts by wearing black film school glasses. He carries a sandwich back from the dining car wrapped in foil, which reminds me of space food, Goodnight Moon, and dessert stars.
The train passengers are connected by soft heels clicking on the carpeted floor, slow moving power lines, swaying coach cars. Postcard Connecticut towns and industrial driveways. The landscape clicks and flickers like a Super8 movie, shot in faded color.
The train stops underground at Penn Station. We scatter like pinballs into Penn Station traveling upstairs, past the lounge act and security dogs, and then ricochet into Midtown, tripping over scarves and luggage along the way. Between us we rush. Into the next minute. Send a text. Push into the taxi line. Haul heavy bags for one mile uptown, through Times Square. Inhale sweet peanuts mixed and falafel. Skirt past a moving car, barely.
Between us, there is this. This passing moment and then another. I see it as if for the first time, peer through the looking glass. Awake, suddenly, awake.
stay tuned for more scenes from New York City