I’m sitting a Zen retreat which is being made possible by my sister who is coming to look after my mom for a few days.
I could post something for my weekly Thursday post, (what? You didn’t know I had a weekly post?), but I am busy cleaning up the house and getting meals prepared for while I am gone.
I will post a story I wrote for a weekly writing contest in Brigits Flame THAT I WON! (A first!)
“the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something, but are both reluctant to start”.
The young woman in the yellow raincoat joins the fray. It is a grey morning. She steps on the bus and jostles with the rest, hanging by an arm from one of the straps provided for commuters too short to reach the bar. With her free hand she checks the email on her Iphone and sends a text to her friend. She glances over her shoulder at the man who is standing too close and gives him a look of annoyance. She looks at her Iphone smiles at the text she has just received, looks up briefly at the passing scene of newly built row houses barely registering the fact that have been made to look Victorian. She sees the pedestrians with open umbrellas hurriedly joining the stream of Monday morning rush hour commuters.
The music playing via her iPhone pours into her ears through barely visible ear bulbs. It is frenetic and electronic, the singer’s voice like a choir of adolescent boys.
The bus turns into the station and the passengers swing from their tenuous grasps, embarrassed smiles all around because they are bumping into each other (a few give angry glances). They pound off the bus en mass, like a grey beast, except for her. She floats out in her brilliant yellow raincoat.
Her perfectly shaped ankles rise above the neat blue shoes that click on the polished cement tiles of the station. She moves quickly so as not to miss her connection.
The masses flow like an autumn stream with one perfect yellow leaf upon it. Wind blows cold from the tunnel lifting her hair slightly as the train slows and she steps carefully over the gap between the platform and the car.
A seat! She slips into it trying not to see the elderly woman who has no business riding at rush hour and starts to read her book, wondering slightly how it is possible that these two worlds exist simultaneously; the world within the pages of her book filling her a word at a time with a sense of belonging, and this periphery of real life that is so meaningless. She promises herself she will write about it when she has a chance: this schism. She cracks open her paperback.
She would save the boy.
She is surprised when the train’s automated voice announces her station. She has been immersed in the protagonist’s struggle and the music of her iPhone. Getting up to the door she meets an odd Anime-looking leather-clad youth with blue hair who is facing the passengers with a “nerd gone postal” look on his face and she opts for the further door. The train jostles to an abrupt stop and she drops her purse and bangs her calf into the corner of a seat.
A man crouches down to pick it up for her and her impulse is to grab it away angrily but when she sees his beautiful face, framed by long, curly, dripping wet, black hair, she is caught off guard. He is exactly like the boy. She has pictured him in her mind: his angst and struggle, his hunger after righteousness, the hopelessness of his love. Her heart breaks for the boy.
He doesn’t smile but he holds her gaze a millisecond too long.
Sheknows she looks successful. She hopes it doesn’t appear to him that she doesn’t care about inequity, passion and truth: all the things that are important to the boy. She wonders: If she wasn’t so comfortable in her nice little nest of habits, would she take his hand and run off this train into the rain and keep running? They could travel the world together, citizens of no country, unafraid and open to every adventure, drifting from one beach to the next.
“At least I didn’t fall.” she says, embarrassed, accepting her purse from him.
He doesn’t say anything …
As she steps on the platform she is confused briefly until she realizes she has turned left instead of right.