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Friday, May 29, 2009

the night does funny things

I have an overly active imagination. Here's an example I wrote down at the time to share with you later.

The night before I was going to fly to Chicago for CIF I realized I didn't have enough cash on me to take a cab to the airport. It was about midnight and I was packing my bag. I threw on some jeans, an old sweater, leather jacket and set out to the nearest ATM.

I live on a nice street in a bad neighborhood. In my old leather coat with my hair tied up into knots I wondered if I looked like someone to pick on, or a crazy person to be left alone.

When I reached Forest Hills I was impressed with the emptiness. The bells clanged sharply announcing the last train and a man rushed past me, racing against the time table but competing with no one for entry to the platform.

As I approached the ATM I saw a tall figure in a beige rain coat with long black hair standing just to the left of my destination. Her back was to me, she was facing the large wall of windows that looks out of the Washington Street side bus terminal.

I stepped closer and closer to that corner of the train station, my heart pounding madly inside my chest because I imagined that when she turned around she would HAVE NO FACE.

I could see clearly what she would look like, and she would see me looking and I would be doomed.

But I needed that cash, and I kept my pace.

When I realized that I was actually picturing the emptiness where her face would be, imagining how I'd feel knowing somehow that she COULD STILL SEE ME even WITHOUT A FACE, I was incredulous. I hadn't even consciously known I was thinking it, and had no idea what I had been contemplating before I encountered her.

I stepped up to the ATM and she turned then, a pale white woman holding a tissue to her (intact) nose and sniffling with either allergy symptoms or a cold.

Why on earth wouldn't she have had a face?

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