Poetry. The words like a gun in my mouth. The cold from the window a kiss, a blow-off, and the sun a hammer beating the river flat.
The sign on the bridge says 'Trenton Makes The World Takes' in squat, ugly letters. I shut my eyes and the blood in my head is staging its own personal sunset. Open them and the woman two rows down is teaching her daughter to play chinese checkers on one of those pocket-size magnetic game boards, telling her how she needs to think beyond the next move if she wants to win. Good advice, sister. Amazing the way one things leads to another, the way life leaps over you, knocks you off the board.
Like this connection I'm never going to make.
I could always kill time but I don't have the nerve for it. I imagine what it would feel like, the ticking growing faint under my hands, the throttled body of the clock they would find later, when I was far away. Maybe I should get a bite to eat instead. At the thought of food the hunger runs around inside me like a madman in a train station, shouting out destinations. I would kill for a drink.
The newspaper says the last speaker of the indigenous Alaskan language Eyak has died. Or maybe the newspaper doesn't say that and I just made it up. In any case I think - he must have spent a lot of time talking to himself, there at the end. Did I just say that aloud? God, I hope not.
Why is that man in the corner looking at me like that? Is he really speaking with someone, or just talking into his cellphone to pretend that he's not alone? Maybe he's on to me, knows I'm in the business too - you know, the spying on the self business. Maybe what he's really talking into is the secret receiver in his cuffs. The cellphone is just for camouflage. Idea for a joke about a secret agent who has a microphone stitched into the brim of his bowler, so that he's always talking through his hat. Hmm.
Okay, this guy is definitely talking about me. Calling for back-up, no doubt. They'll probably grab me when I get off the train. Or maybe they'll keep me on it, wait dour-faced while everyone else gets off, then ride with me to the depot, the four of them with their suits and their badly concealed shoulder-holsters sitting there in silence, penning me in. Waiting for me to make my move. Not that I've got any moves to make. Not any more. Trenton Makes The World Takes. Well, I've been made all right. I wonder where they'll take me.