conversations in blue

draft from 11/17/2008

a fiction

The backpack hanging from JS’ shoulder was heavy. JS glanced again at the man in the baseball cap and shorts standing in front of him on the escalator talking loudly to the bright-eyed redheaded woman whose eyes kept glancing around, first at her children, then at the long escalator, then at the strange geometric ceiling and then back at her children. The man was saying something about the Jefferson Monument – memorial, JS corrected silently —  and together, with their children in front, they had the escalator completely blocked, at 9:30 in the morning. Now they weren’t breaking any rules, of course not, there can’t be rules about escalators — but he’d been living and dying on the subway all year long, and the thought that three minutes of this tourist’s time, the inhaling exhaling vibration of vocal chords,  would force JS to wait down there on the dimly lit platform for a full quater of an hour — the thought of it made him tense up.

This is what if had come to — four years of navel contemplating with some of the finest minds in his generation — and here he was, junior cog in the military-imperial peoplemachine of the Latter Day United States, hating his fellow man. That too constricted his veins.