Saturday, December 30, 2006

usa notes

Catching the late commuter train back from New York. Two lily white couples get on at 125th st. Same age as me, but with haircuts and overcoats from income brackets in the stratosphere. One couple grabs the two free seats next to mine. On the commuter train the seats are turned front and back in little two and three seater pods, not the long democratic benches of the subway. On our three seat pod I scrunched up against the window with my brand new hardcover and they talked about people they knew. "Look at that skiht though, just look at your skiht. There's practically nothing there." My eyes flicked over to her skirt; deep blue, clinging toddlerlike to a pair of tanned thighs marked once or twice by birth marks or field hockey scars. His voice was marked by objective observation while his fingers ran circles round her kneecap and little forays higher up. I really tried to just enjoy my book, half of me just wishing they could do this somewhere else and the other half of me glad that these guys had sat next to me and given me such a good story.

The other couple spoke up from the seat ahead of us. "Ohmigod my ass is so big, my ass is so big in this photograph." As far as I could get from the furtive glances the photograph was her drivers license. "Can you believe my Dad told me that I looked liked shit in this?" Still waving around the drivers license. "But whatever, I just told him that he was fucking ugly anyway." Okay, I was ready to move now. The boyfriend next to me turned his voice of objective observation to the voice of objective amusement. "Jesus, that's hor-(laugh)-rible (laugh)."

I settled back into the book, but by the time I'd glanced over again her hand (silver ring on the index finger, silver bracelet on the wrist) had moved between his leg, and looked like it was massaging his crotch through the thin black cotton of his trousers. Oh Jesus. Read the book, just read the book. This isn't happening less than a foot away. His jacketed arm is pressed against my own, her hand is pressing firmly along the folds and creases of his... oh for chrissakes! Just get off at the next stop please.

Maybe I've been out of the states too long, but their conversation was as light and breezy as if she'd been running her hand through his hair. He asked about the ring on her finger that was running the length of his member, she lifted up the hand to look at it. "This? Jeez, I haven't taken this off in like, fifteen years." And maybe she was in love, because she slid it off without a second thought, held it with the edge on her fingertips, all three of us with our eyes on the ring, and the finger it had left.