Sunday, February 27, 2011

Strange People

People on the metro sit with glazed eyes, checking out strangers, zoned out. We'll be in the train car only two feet from each other, trying to avoid eye contact. We don't talk, as if we are far too different to say anything. Then I think about all the different lives on the train, and how I don't know any of them at all. We make up a diverse group I'm sure.

I see a girl with fake eye lashes glued to her eye lids, and snake bites sticking out of her lips. She has long black hair and she wears a black shirt, a grey skirt, grey tights and black leather boots. I think how she could be prettier if her face wasn't pounded with foundation, but I guess people should just do what they think looks right. I don't know her at all. She probably thinks I'm creepy for staring at her, and maybe I am a creeper.

I stare at a family too. They're young and Hispanic. The baby is crying and throwing his toy shovel at his Dad, but then his Dad grabs it from him and sits the baby on his lap. The baby wears a plaid button up shirt that's unbuttoned with a tank top underneath, and he has a chain necklace on. I laugh to myself because his Dad is dressed the exact same way. The Dad holds the baby gently and he surrenders to his Daddy and slides into a drooling sleep, leaning on his chest.

The Mom is quiet; she has snake bites in her lips too, and she wears an extra large hoody and jeans. Once in a while she will look to the parallel row where her other son sits next to an old lady. The other boy stares wide eyed out the window and often comments on his surroundings. He sympathizes with me, because every time I try to take a picture of the clouds, we pass a wall and the sky hides.

In the station a girl with dreaded hair, soppy make-up and drained eyes asked me for spare change. She wore tight faded jeans and a zip up hoody that looked like something from Pac-Sun. But she was dirty, like she hadn't showered in weeks, or slept. Next to her in a stroller was a little white baby, pure and fresh compared to her messy completion. The baby was sleeping in perfect soundness amidst the bustle of union station.
"I just need some money, to buy a hamburger or something."
"I only have like 35 cents," I said.
"Any thing helps!" she said back.
I handed her my spare change, and she blessed me. I wanted to ask her for her name, but I thought of that as I was already beginning to walk away. Instinctively, I wondered if she was a fake, and if the baby was a prop. But I didn't want to take that chance with her. Maybe she does drugs, and maybe she has a really fucked up life, but keeping my spare laundry change wouldn't have changed that.
I enjoyed this outfit idea.

Krista and I walked to a thrift store and I forget the name of it. I noticed that they do not segregate clothing into guy and girl sections, which is very liberal of them. I wondered what makes girl clothes or guy clothes distinctly belong to a particular sex. It's fine though, because I found an amazing leather Harley Davidson jacket in the jacket section.  It was obviously meant for men, but it fit me comfortably. It was $65, and I had no money. Vintage shops like that inspire me to dress more artistically, imaginatively. College has made me quite aesthetically boring, and that should change.

We're back on the metro, and strangers come and go, and we just listen to the rhythm of steel on steel, and the blast of air conditioning. We just stare at each other awkwardly sometimes, or we purposefully day dream, and glaze over to avoid awkwardness. Some have ear buds blasting music into the scene, like Krista. She stares out the window at the clouds, or in the case of the subway, she stairs at the window at her own reflection.

Therapeutic rhythm puts me to sleep. It's the same there, night and day, day and night. The trains come and go, to the same places, and strangers do the same. And we don't know about any of our lives, but we stare at each other and contemplate, and then we never see each other again.

I still find it funny, that we're all just people.

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