Monday, April 14, 2014


Early Friday evening, I sat on the subway and thought about moving in a straight line. Going directly from one point to another with no abrupt turns or sudden changes, no adjustments on the fly, no returns home because someone forgot their [insert important object they were advised not to forget but inevitably forget any time a journey is taken somewhere] was simply wonderful. I was the subway's only smiling passenger.

I listened to Astral Weeks and while "Cyprus Avenue" was playing we ambled by a derelict train car and as Van Morrison sang "If I pass the rumbling station where the lonesome engine drivers pine" I saw that on the side of this car was spray-painted the words "Young hungry thieves." Or perhaps it was "Hungry young thieves." Either way, there was no comma separating the adjectives. The thieves are young—punctuation doesn't concern them. Then a commuter train traveling on the adjacent track suddenly thwarted my view of the graffiti, and then we trundled into North Station and the subway shuddered and stopped.

Outside, it was raining softly. The streets turned dark and slick. I walked briskly, my hood pulled tight. Later, while sitting at the bar, mp3 player and earbuds sprawled out next to my pint, I heard a song playing, faintly and faraway. I had forgot to shut off the music on my device: Astral Weeks was still working its magic, spinning for absent audiences, serenading the void. I brought the earbud close and caught a few notes. It was like something had been stolen from me and then returned.

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