Saturday, July 12, 2003

Gloucester Station

We stand without speaking, just like the locals, just like good Americans. Clacking and roaring like a roller coaster.

Bump. Sway. Fluorescent flickering.

The whizzing black interrupted by the occasional beer-yellow safety light slows to a halt, and the scenery changes to the station: more fluorescent lights, flooding the sterile tile platform like the set of some urban movie.

Stand up. Sit down. Shuffle around.

Now we’ve got a new group of friends on the journey home, but God forbid we try to talk to them. A youngish mother has youngish daughters — not twins, but dressed identically like she wishes they were. An old man stares at those girls and I don’t like the way he’s looking at him. In the car behind us, a man who looks like Mimi Bobeck reads the newest Harry Potter and occupies his seat like an overripe pear squished into a shotglass. The station starts inching away again, then runs, then blurs into that blackness that I don’t like.

No one’s sitting directly across from me, and I can see my reflection in the window, shadowed by the whole lot of nothing behind it. I would have never imagined Gloucester Station — one of those overlit tile platforms without garbage bins that I only began frequenting a week ago — would make feel like I was home, but it does. My feet hurt and I wish I was there now.