In Transit

10 10 2006

Sitting at the subway station, I notice that there is a surreal amount of tragic hope in his eyes. Like as if the grays have finally bled into his life. And where once I was innocent, now I know him and I am in part responsible. I feel like he’s hiding something. Like behind his concrete eyes, maybe he knows the reason behind living. Then I wonder if he’s ever read the news about the boy who was stabbed twelve times down by the pier; I might have had a chance to ask him, I could share a secret, maybe trade.

We know he’s not the killer, though, for several reasons. 1. He’s too sad; murderers are usually proud, sophisticated, and smiling. 2. He looks suicidal, not homicidal. 3. I dated the man for four years, knew him since high school. Nick, (or Nicolas Benedetto if you’re that curious). To start off with more facts, 4. We got married in the spring of ’97. 5. We never had kids (he was happy for that). 6. I haven’t really dated since. I could hear the subway train coming, and I wondered about the chance nature of our little encounter. And I could hear it coming; this reminded me to look at him, but I changed my mind’s mind, grabbed his hand and kissed him – pure surprise.

It was a few seconds, life reborn, with a dawn a sunset anew, like coffee-cups with sugar, yellow glow melting us, people all around blurring to non-existence, us and only us, alive, standing and more standing, like twenty or forty dates all again, like life, just like it, in a few seconds. But I knew it was a stolen moment, tragic in its birth, sunset on the horizon. I saw the ring on his finger, I must’ve known – oh but how easily, so willingly forgotten.
My flight back was the next day; and right now I am passing over some barren state nonstop towards LAX, to see Eric. I’ll never forget the subway scene, or what he did to me afterwards; Eric is my current obligation. Both Eric and Nick would be good for me; and now that I know I should never take Nick back, I should develop a thing with Eric, right? It wouldn’t work out, so .. Eric?

But Eric isn’t Nick. Eric’s different; you’d know him as the ‘Harborside Killer.’ I know what you’re thinking. You think, “Lady you’re out of your goddamned mind, leave him and find someone else.” But you don’t understand Eric. You may never. There is such a passion to his love, not abusive, but alive and strong in its caffeinated midday glory. Eric is not a killer, he is a person. The act was one thing, his life is another. He’s struggled to pay for his mom’s healthcare costs by working two jobs. He worked his way through Yale, but he’s never put that on a single job application. Some kind of honor thing. Honor means a lot to him I think; his father used to beat him three times for every mistake, one for disgracing Eric, once for disgracing the family, and another from God.

We’re about to land now. Being with Nick again was pure ecstasy. The wholeness of our encounter, the dissolution of me into the many, like a melody that transcends life itself. Against the palpable beauty of becoming tabula rasa, Eric feels like an enchanted drug with his artificial tones of remorseless existence. I am still not sure about what happened with Nick back East. I know what will happen with Eric, what always happens. I’ll see Nick again. And if it can’t be my Nick then maybe another. So I could feel life once again. The hope of it loose under my skin like a thousand subways carrying it to every part of me.

[note: read twice] [composed on a plane flight in a little black book]

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One response

13 10 2006
Dad

You are very whack but at least for once I know it’s a short story.

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