||[Oct. 12th, 2011|07:41 pm]
as sadness gives way to hope|
you start in the morning by hoping not to be sad; this is the best way you can see things progressing. being happy outright just isn't practical, not for someone who has so many things in his pockets: two or three forms of identification, credit cards, a smart phone, an old picture that is frayed around the edges, a damp pack of smokes. they aren't heavy but you always feel their weight and like i said before, you can only hope that they don't make you sad.
you pick up the train at the end of your street and are disheartened to find that the air is on, despite the rain outside. the driver is telling everyone to push back or else this train won't move, and she sounds genuinely angry. not because she can't actually move the train, but because she says that same sentence every day, and people still do the same things they do. it's not hard, is it? to squeeze between those two backpacked lovers who are in a low-toned fight, or even to take the partially obstructed seat next to the young man with his legs spread wide, slouching and uncomfortable but a landowner on this car. you know he'll move if you ask whether you can sit there, but you also know the look he'll give you, which is the look he's already giving you for walking in his direction, so you keep pushing through. the driver is still stopped at the red light, but will not open the doors for any latecomers. let them race to the next stop, see if they can beat me, she thinks.
no one looks happy to see anyone else. not even the people speaking to one another, the ones who know each other the most, are smiling. the man you end up standing next to has metal music blaring through his wraparound headphones and he's tapping his foot out of rhythm which must be pretty embarrassing because you can all hear his music, and the woman directly behind him cringes every time he lifts his arm to pull against the bar, and she steps backwards eventually, her heel digging into the toe of a child playing with her younger brother in a stroller, and the girl cries so the baby cries and the mother tries to calm them down while saying it's fine to the woman, who's looking forlorn and shooting glares back towards the headphones, which continue their drone. someone pushes past you at the behest of the driver, and you mumble something like excuse you.
you spend a good amount of your time on the train, or anywhere really, wondering what you would say to someone if they were to insult you. this, of course, is to counteract the phenomenon of always knowing what to say five minutes after the insult leaves you speechless. you want to be prepared for what you can, because most of the things that happen blindside you, at least most of the big things. you take breaths slowly because you want to feel them, but also because you are scared because someone told you once that everyone has like a million or a billion breaths and once they're all gone you die, and you don't think that you want to die yet, even if you aren't sure whether or not you want to live today.
the mother is gathering her things and shouting side door! and pushing her daughter and her stroller through onto the platform. the stroller has a hood on it, and the little girl has a hannah montana umbrella, but the mother is somehow unprepared for the weather. isn't that perfect? isn't that what we do? spend our whole lives giving advice, spend all of our time telling people things? she doesn't even notice when a crumpled five dollar bill edges its way out of her pocket as she shimmies past the rubber on the door, but the woman in the heels does. she bends down to pick it up, and rushes through the door to return it to its most recent owner. the doors close behind her, the driver certainly laughing to herself, most of the remaining passengers cringing and murmuring to each other.
but the woman in the heels hadn't even turned around to reboard the train. as you start to pull out, fateful passengers on a lurching squeal of metal, you can see all of their faces through the droppy window. the mother's gratitude, bordering on wonder. the young girl's reluctant truculence. the baby boy's amazement with the rain that has started dripping from the hood of his stroller, his outstretched hands and fingers. you start in the morning by hoping not to be sad; you do this every day. but there are moments when the world meets you halfway, tucks itself under the chasm you've fallen into, and floats you up toward happiness.