Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nights like these

You know the ones. Events so perfectly timed, recalling their memory is no different than remembering your favorite film. Each seemingly-random delay leading to a meaningful encounter that feels premeditated - but not by you. You have drinks with your students for the very first time, since it was your last night together. Then, crossing a street, you run into your long-lost brother driving past. Give or take five seconds and it would have just been any other night. This delay gets you to the platform just in time to catch a familiar face nodding goodnight as his train pulls away. Immediately, from the other direction, a transvestite prostitute in the shortest shorts moves from one train to the other, listening to her ipod, singing and dancing the entire time. Once she boards the train, though, the music soon dies. The ipod is taken from her by two familiar thugs as the tax for crossing a sacred line of criminal turf. The air in the train car feels about to boil into violence, but the pock and ink-marked thugs leave the train without further incident. At the same time, through the same door, a friend of the prostitute boards, quickly soothing away the pain. The dust settles as they chatter. Through it, you notice another familiar face in the next car. He's sitting, reading the same flashy book you spied him walking up the same street with this same morning. A conversation ensues, pulling long-forgotten knowledge out of hiding. Ralph Bakshi, rotoscoping, Max Fleisher's Superman, Betty Boop. The guy next to him swears at the realization he's missed his stop - which alerts you that yours is next. As you swim home through the thick air of honeysuckle and roses, you get a text from your house one block away. Where are you? I'm here.

1 comment:

annie said...

Yes, moment to moment happenings often seem so perfectly timed. It is so fancinating to see how events unfold in our lives. I like your story and the way it all fits together, and I like the way time and events almost feel orchestrated.