Orange Line, 4/4/12

The man who boards at Wellington Station
is angry; he announces as much
almost immediately.

He cannot, he says,
tolerate ignorance, arrogance,
or people wearing sunglasses on the train.

He smells like heated garbage and has a black
eye. He is carrying a one-liter bottle
of Mountain Dew and

he challenges me, because
I happen to be closest to the emergency
call button, to “go ahead and fuckin’ push it, bitch.”

He wants this, the challenge. He is seeking
ejection, he is certain that the
guy on his cellphone is

calling the authorities
so he stalks over, huffing, glaring,
the garbage smell coming off him in waves.

We pull into Sullivan Station and my husband
and I race onto the platform, to
tell the driver.

He meets this
information with something
like a shrug. He is, after all, on a schedule,

as are the people on the train, glaring at us,
because they would rather ride this
out than be late for work.

One response to “Orange Line, 4/4/12

  1. I enjoy the honest language in this piece and the use of white space to slow it down and break down the images. I think including a more specific image of smell to describe garbage would make the image stronger.

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