Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tales from the MAX

People on the MAX always look tired. Tired in the morning when the train pulls up on its sleek steel sliding rails. Tired from their long nights. Tired in the evening when only the sound of steel tracks and the lights illuminating tunnels of raindrops tease the weary senses. Tired from their long days. They need something to wake them up.

Here, let us give them a siren.

As the loud call grows closer and closer, the effects of the siren awakens the sleepers. Is it ambulance? Is it policecar? Is it firetruck? It is the sound of disaster growing closer in its circular call going round and round with the flashing lights.

The old man shakes his head, somewhat slowly, then reaches for his iPhone– that's right, go ahead and drown your thoughts in music. The woman across from him reading The Economist furrows her brow, a quick glance up– eyes back and deeper furrow– try to concentrate. The teen guy, baseball cap askew– go ahead and guess at his ethnicity– looks down, thin fingers meant for the piano or violin turning the large diamond stud in his ear.

The next clump of people. A man with a thick neck, tells his story of being dishonorably discharged- telling how unfair it was- telling how he has no idea where it came from. Then he stops. Stops midsentence. Has to comment looking towards the sirens' directions "mother-rapers". Well he definitely gets points for creativity. Though I think the correct declination would be mother-rapists. But this comment doesn't seem to sit well with the middle aged immegrant–don't ask I how I know she is middle aged or immigrant– places her hand on her cheek and shakes her head. Which just looks odd, fabricated, artificial.

But the people begin to fade again. The small flame we began has died down to an ember. A dying ember. Shall we wake them up? Shall we colour their grey monotonous in technicolour?

Here– let the three come in through the sliding, beeping door, into this dreary, wearisome scene. Go ahead, start telling the other two your story about trying to find a deadbeat job in this kind of bad economy, of fighting off those idiots that grabbed at your girl at the bar–your girl!– and how hard it is to save money so that you can go to junior college next year, all because of your no-good thief of a mother who steels the money from that old pickle jar to buy cocaine. Go ahead and tell about how your lil' sister's car seat wasn't fastened all the way by that same crackhead mom, how they went for a drive that afternoon, how the car went flying over the side of the cliff by the dairy queen, how no amount of make up can hide the way her fat face is scarred.

But you're not the only one who has some entertainment for these weary travelers. Go ahead, yes you, tell the other two about your girlfriend's mom. About how she's an even crazier bee-otch. How you'll let your girlfriend go out on the town on her own, but not with her mom. Because she's so desperate she'll try to sell your girlfriend off like a "ho". How once she even tried to sell her off to a nigger. Thats right, go ahead, use the n-word. Upset the nice African American gentleman that's staring such daggers at you now.

Yes, it may be better for you to get off now, you don't seem to be making too many friends here. Maybe people enjoy their weariness. Maybe they need their tiredness. Why? Who knows... maybe if we simply watch for a while, no interference. No sirens or disruptive interruptions. Let them simmer in the grinding down of their live's through the rough hands of the clock running around its silver rim. We will sit. We will watch. We will reserve judgement. For now. We will be silent.

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