The El slipped out of its tunnel into the plainest sort of gray, getting inevitably closer to my stop. Spring Garden. The gentle rocking of the car on the tracks tends to lull me. That, and i was staring at the people. A woman in a flower print brown skirt reading a trashy looking novel (in which i could definitely make out highlighted passages); a man who looked halfway made of bronze with shiny low-gauge piercings and a cycling backpack (i felt like the reflection from his newly shaved head was staring at me); a massive wall of hairspray and blue eyeshadow crammed into shoes that were obviously not quite large enough (pinky toe was trying its best to convince the rest of the foot to let it come back to hang out for a while); a little girl with a broken foot secured within men’s extra-large gym socks and ace bandages (sitting across from her mother, holding a large manila envelope marked Extremities, and it took me a minute to figure out that it was an x-ray of a foot rather than a script of the play).
Stepping out of the train felt like stepping into the color gray: it was as though someone had taken a crayon of that color and plunged it directly into the sun. Dripping over my shoulders, working at the edges of my eyes. I stood for a moment half-in the door of the train as a man took the stairs up to the platform two at a time and wrestled his pockets for a token.
At 8:25 in the supermarket this morning a woman with a full cart of groceries let me cut in front of her in line with my Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Kix, & Orange Juice. The cashier gave my pajama bottoms and inside out t-shirt a cursory examination before i commented “all we had was milk” and she cracked a grin. The receipt paper made an odd sort of crinkle against my $1.75 in change and the flannel of my pocket as my flip-flops thwopped one-two-one-two down 44th street to my house.
The gray somehow got into my head, and my mouth and ears are just that lazy crayon mess. How, oh how, am i supposed to sing tonight?