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Tuesday, April 15, 2003
By Paul Ford
And what happened.
Behind me, the Empire State Building, still lord of the Midtown manor. At the entrance, a small, gray-bearded man in robes, the robes decorated with groundhog skulls, carrying a wooden spear. As I enter the station, the F train departing. The beep of the turnstile.
A bearded electric guitarist, half-hidden behind a trash can, urinating into a plastic tea bottle. A middle-aged man in girl's dress shoes, repeatedly stomping his feet and spitting over the edge of the platform, PEH! PEH!, aiming for rats. He yelled, “I get 'em!” The breeze of a coming train. The V train. The sound of the doors opening and closing. The vacuum of a leaving train.
The breeze of a coming train. The V train. The sound of the doors opening and closing. The vacuum of a leaving train.
A small, dark-haired woman in her 20s cursing the V train, waving her hands. Tile grout. Fluorescent lighting. A rat.
My dirty hands. A poster for the film What a Girl Wants, to which someone has penned in, as an answer, cock. The sound of a battery-powered guitar amp powering a cheap electric guitar as a man busks, bad Whitesnake covers echoing up and down the station.
Then Scott Rahin is thinking about how so much of life is trying to balance your sense of the moral with your sense of loyalty, thinking all
over the place about tribes and companies, about the moment when the sense of what's right--the loyalty to something larger
than you can see--gets you to blow the whistle, make the phone call, name something as evil.
The breeze. The F train arrives. The sound of the doors opening and closing.
Placards, promises. An empty seat by a window. A tattoo of a small bird on the small of a woman's back.
This piece is sponsored by Magdalen Powers (check out the excellent splash page). She's as nice a person as you'll ever meet, plus she has a book for sale, featuring fine prose and hot sex: Hand Over Fist.