Tuesday, February 10, 2009


In Which It Is A Typical Tuesday Night

There were seven people in the teacher's room tonight after classes were over at 9:00.  Rita the librarian, Steven, Wendy, Stacey, Jasmine, Jesse, and me.  We trickled out as we finished our post-class clean-up, made plans for the week, and said our goodnights.  By the time I left, in conversation with Steven, Rita was the only one left.  The light in the room was yellow.  I thought of leaving a Subway at 11:00 pm in Ashland with three friends.

I got to the bus stop just in time to catch the 226.  Nine people were scattered through the bus, and the light was the same yellow light--the kind of light that accompanies quiet, and separates people, even if they came in together.  Someone's cellphone rang, a MIDI of the first four bars of "It's a Small World," but it was cut off.  It wasn't answered, but I could nevertheless hear with perfect clarity how the conversation would have gone, even in another language, and even though I'd have understood the first two words and then perhaps one word in four after that.  I could hear how each word would have fallen perfectly into prefabricated holes in the silence, made to fit them, sliding into place with nearly audible clicks and resting there level with the quiet and nearly indistinguishable from it.

I left the bus at the stop across from the coffee shop near our apartment.  There were two employees left, cleaning up under the same yellow light, facing in different directions, moving with equal slowness.  Above the street, the fat moon.

In the park, fourteen older women learned a new line dance, moved their feet in almost perfect synchrony.  Tomorrow they will probably add music.  A boy gave a girl a stuffed animal on one of the benches.  Someone was smoking.

Two doormen and four bouncers were on the ground floor of our apartment building.  One of them was also smoking, and pushed button three for three of the girls in the elevator.  The two men got out on the fourth floor.  I got out on floor five.

It is 10:30, and I am happy to be where I am.


Katy Williams said...


pickett said...

Was your subtitle a nod to Wondermark!?

Rowan said...

More a nod to The Finn Family Moomintroll, really.