A Train between 14th Street and Jay Street-Borough Hall

Vague, abstracted middle-aged couple, late 40s/early 50s.  He: zipped-up leather bomber jacket, pressed dark jeans, loafers; she: beige leather car coat, wool skirt, tights, knee-high boots, lots and lots of loose, limp hair.  Both brooding, utterly unsmiling.

They sit without speaking for some time, eyes fixed in different directions.  Then:

She: I have a new favorite store.  Banana Republic.  You know them?

He: (pause) No.

She: You know them.  That’s where I got these earrings, remember?

She strokes her long, dangly earrings.  He doesn’t look at her.

He: (pause) No.

She: Yeah you do.  At my mom’s mall.  While you were getting that massage?

He: (pause) Oh that thing.

She: I love them now.  I’m getting a denim skirt from them.  It’s really tight.  It’s a size four.  I didn’t know twenty-seven inches could be a size four, I thought that would make it a size six.  So that’s coming to me by mail.

Long pause.

He: We’re not going to smoke pot when we get there.

She: No we’re not.

He: I’ve got it right here.

He pats his breast pocket.

She: We’re not going to smoke it.  Your parents, and my parents…

He unzips his leather jacket partway, reaches into the inside pocket and produces a small white plastic flip-top container.  He flips it open–it’s full of marijuana.

He: It looks pretty good.

He leans down and sniffs it deeply.

She: You should get a pill box.

He: I like this.  My dad gave it to me.

She: Your dad gives you everything.  ‘Cause you’re the first born.

He: This belt.

He reaches down and pulls up his shirt to reveal the belt, exposing an expanse of pale, hairy belly.  They both contemplate the belt.

He: And then sometimes it’s different and he doesn’t give me anything.

He drops his shirt, closes the pot box, slips it back into his inside jacket pocket.

They sit for a long time, brooding, facing different directions.  He jiggles his knee, flicks his middle three fingers over and over again with the tip of his thumb.  Then:

She: Any ideas for what we should do with the girls?

He: We’ll just have to be limited to what’s in the building.  It’s the Sony building, so they have the Sony World of Wonder.  We’ll just have to be limited to the World of Wonder.

Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Train between Broadway-Nassau and Canal Street

Two middle-aged ladies–one Eileen Fisher, one Ann Taylor–headed home on the crowded train.  Work friends.

Eileen Fisher Lady: It’s allowed to sleep at the opera.

Ann Taylor Lady: Oh, really?

Eileen Fisher Lady: Of course.

Ann Taylor Lady: You sleep at the opera?

Eileen Fisher Lady: Not always.  Not so much anymore but I used to do it invariably.  During one performance of Fidelio when I was in high school I had the greatest nap of my adolescence.

Ann Taylor Lady: Really.  I feel bad about it, I guess.

Eileen Fisher Lady: Oh no, you can’t feel bad.  Sometimes it’s just too much.

Ann Taylor Lady: One time I fell asleep in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, but the problem was we were right in the first row, right on top of the actors.  I felt so bad.

Eileen Fisher Lady: My mother always sleeps at the theater.  Well, my mother can sleep anywhere.

Ann Taylor Lady: My mother, too!  She sleeps everywhere.  She slept through The Passion of the Christ.

Eileen Fisher Lady: The Mel Gibson movie?  Good for her.  Good for her.

Ann Taylor Lady: And snored.

Eileen Fisher Lady: Terrible movie.  Terrible movie.  I didn’t see it.

Ann Taylor Lady: The past ten years she’s developed this weird snore with a gurgle sound and a sort of chicken noise in it.  My nickname for her is gurgle chicken.  But she won’t admit it.  She’ll fall asleep on the phone with you and if you tell her she did she’ll yell at you.

Eileen Fisher Lady: The thing my mother does that’s annoying–one of the things she does that’s annoying–is she’ll come to visit me and she’ll want to stay up and watch things on David Letterman.  Now I used to watch David Letterman, I used to be a normal person, but now when I watch it I just feel like I’m on fire.  I hate it.

Ann Taylor Lady: It is awful.

Eileen Fisher Lady: It’s the most awful thing on television!  Ugh, the audience laughter, and those jokes?  And that Paul Schaffer?  I mean, I’ve always hated him but now if I met him I’d kill him with my bare hands.  I hate him that much.

Published in: on May 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm  Comments (1)