on the subway

It was just like this. A girl on the last page of her book, murmuring the words aloud, I can read her lips only because I know it by heart: it eluded us then, but that’s no matter. Next to her, a woman with a tiny Hebrew bible is mouthing the words of her devotion as fast as an auctioneer. At the other end of the car, there’s a man with thin, unruly hair. He’s slumped over as though he were drunk, or sleeping, one shoulder lower than the other, listing, his chin collapsed to his chest. He’s staring at his open, empty palm in his lap, tapping it lightly with his index finger.

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5 Responses to “on the subway”


  1. 1 David Gray January 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Good to see you back. I remember talking to someone over the holidays about your posts.

    Forgive my ignorance. What was she reading?

    Sometimes if we have some place important to focus, like the palm of our hand, we do not feel the same pressure to engage with humans. They can be so scary.

  2. 2 Kio January 7, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks David…it’s the end of The Great Gatsby.

  3. 3 Ben January 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Glad to see this again. That’s all.

  4. 4 Ralf January 8, 2010 at 12:11 am

    > He’s staring at his open, empty palm in his lap,
    > tapping it lightly with his index finger.

    “If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”
    — Thich Nhat Hanh

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing. Happy 2010.

    Ralf

    • 5 snarf January 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      Thats weird, Ralf. I have experienced that, but I don’t seem to recall ever having heard of this quote or any like it? I guess it is some kind of universal experience?

      In my early twenties I had eaten magic mushrooms when I suddenly felt my palms open and saw these lotus-flowers growing in them. And they kept coming one on top of the other until they reached far up in the sky. Before I could wonder what it was I felt that each flower represented the love of parents to their children stretching far back in time through my ancestors, a flower for each generation behind me. I wasn’t even really mystified by it, it just made feel very very comfortable, grateful and self confident in this world. Through your family’s entire past I think it adds up to a whole lotta love.

      That being said just remember : don’t do drugs. It’s just smarter to not do them.

      Oh and I love this blog!


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