Wandered off 3
The blue line goes lots of places, of course. But, unless you live out there somewhere along the beaches north of the city, you might live in Boston for many years, and never have reason to ride the blue line.
I have no reason.
But, we may all do whatever we wish to do, whenever we wish to do it. We don’t have to provide an explanation, or an excuse.
Travel, just to travel. Travel randomly. It’s very liberating to travel without a destination.
I’m enjoying the clickety clack of the blue wheels beneath me.
The words come to me in the Distinctly feminine, yet handsomely dark voice of Hollister Blue
Is this a musical? I hear her exquisite piano in the distance…..
Transported by my sister’s fingers kindly, softly caressing the keys.
“Off track…..on track……..it’s your choice”
”…….found your voice.”
I wonder: could we write our musical in the key of Km ?
“There’s no such thing as the key of freakin’ K minor.” She corrects me in her nonjudgmental, sisterly way.
Keyboard cover slamming shut. BAM!
I am sweating profusely now. Do I have a fever?”
Something is suddenly very different. The winds have shifted. A hint of a flowery perfume perhaps?
The scent is familiar. I’m here for the opposite.” Life is unfair.
I fear that I am not alone. When I admired the shine on my shoes, There were others. Smaller.
Familiarity is a threat. I feel threatened.
A light scuff of the soft soles were her only betrayal as she too paused before crossing
“Do not cross this line!”
I had / we all had assumed that we all knew the answer to his unspoken riddle.
Soft, leather-soled shoes moved nearly silently across the pavement. The fairer / kinder gender? Nonsense! Soft leather soles tap softly on the floor of the train car, nervously tapping to some unheard song. Her feet betray her, again.
“Do not cross this line!" He said. We assumed, incorrectly perhaps, that the consequence would be immediate, and irreversibly final. “Fatal?”
Did I say that aloud?”
I could hear the viscous sound of many eyeballs slowly turning in sockets in unison.
I am considering the other passengers. The firing squad of conformity.
All sat knitting. All were knitting the same sweater. Knitting furiously. That was the old hag’s story, her cover.
“Sweater” I considered: A garment so named because it makes the wearer sweat?
To the innocent bystanders she appeared as the kind old granny.
Her voice jabs at me like a knitting needle in my ear.
Knitting, knitting furiously the sweater of the American dream.
The collar was too tight for me.
The click and clack of busy, busy needles is deafening!”
The sound is both a blessing and a curse. It does drown (for the most part) her 40 year veteran smoker‘s cough and her continuous stream of insults.
When deeds become too heavy for the hands of simple men……….
The knitting needles are suddenly knitting in unison.
Louder! Louder!…….………When the pain is too great for the fiercest bear of a father to bear……
All knitting in unison now.
I am suddenly in charge!
I am the conductor!
Of this musical, of this train.
“Mess with me will you?!” I shout out suddenly!
We are strong of muscle, weak of mind…….Foolish beasts!….those are the tasks placed firmly, ingloriously, and rightfully, on the shoulders of a woman.
But they have misjudged me!
The eyes that so recently looked upon me in cruel judgmental scrutiny have since made note of my crisply ironed shirt and new tie. Certainly I am one of THEM!
Again, for the second time today…
the piano is angry now!
my sister’s fingers pounce and pound on the poor defenseless keys.
The singer’s name, and voice wash over me simultaneously! So pleased that my memory has not fully failed me….yet
”Calgon, Take me away!“ I scream out as I recline into a giant bath of bubbles and beautiful music.
The riders smile. I’m “preaching to the choir”.
"If you can’t stand the heat…….”
The old saying comes to mind: do not feel too much pity for the piano. It’s a piano. That’s its job.
Holly closes the cover firmly but kindly over the keys. The job is done.
a closing door. The music is gone, but its essence remains perpetually in the air. Comforting.
I feel the same piano respect for any tool, even she of the tapping toe.
I turn to her now. I turn to her now with respect, not pity. She, like the piano, is but a tool.
They are both beautiful tools, to say the least.
I am momentarily disarmed, and disappointed. She is younger, much younger than I expected; and far more beautiful!
Have they so misjudged me?
Have they sent a girl to do a woman’s job? Flowers instead of thorns?
She sits across from me with her feet on the seat. Her legs are pulled tight to her chest, in a near fetal position. Her hands cover her ears in defense from the thunderous knitting needles. In her haste to protect herself from the assault of conformity, judgement, and shame, one of her shoes remains on the floor of the train. Her toes are naked and vulnerable for all to see.
“This little piggy went to market ….”
A most unlikely assassin.
A single, quick, movement and the needles fall silent. The train continues onward. I am the conductor, not the engineer.
A most unlikely assassin?
Do recall the most important lessons of nature: The soft flesh of the mushroom is most delicate. The brilliantly colored tree frog is like a jewel, just begging to be taken. The most beautiful fish in the sea, are the most deadly.
She meets my stare with eyes of fire. The truth of nature is soon revealed.