Archive for the 'multiples' Category


Winter is clearing the streets. The corner boys have taken their business underground, their lookouts are gone from the bodega steps. Everyone walks with their head down against the winds that rush at them, or the winds that are rumored to come. Even on the subway, the warmth is drained out of the riders. They burrow into their coats and scarves. They are insulated from each other as well as the cold. Nobody casts a searching glance. Nobody exchanges a nod.



Today, nobody is a stranger.

in the diner

The old people have taken the buns off their hamburgers. The man in the suit speaks Italian in a heavy voice. The boy’s face twitches as his father talks. They don’t seem to know each other very well.

on the subway

An early train, everyone quiet. There was a tall fat man with a cheap cane, worried eyes. A young man leaned against the pole, trying to suppress the inward, private smile that kept overtaking his face. An older woman with veiny hands noticed a small stain on her pink pants, touched it as though that might give her new information, then moved her purse to conceal it. She read over my shoulder for a while, and then her head dropped down into sleep. The smiler got off at 14th St, the fat man at 34th. The dozing woman kept dozing all the way up the line.