Friday, February 27, 2009


He knew it would be a shitty day when he saw her on the subway train. She was looking out the window, the seat next to her occupied by a shopping bag, a big white one, the kind from a department store. Even though she had her hood up and was facing away from him, he still recognized her, the jutting j-shape of her nose, the ends of the jet black plasticity of her hair, the way she sat with her palms up in her lap, as if anticipative of things falling. 

A terrible paralysis overtook him and he felt like spitting. The train started and he looked out the windows in the door. The passenger area of the train was reflected on them, occaisonally broken by the flashes of sparks off the tracks illuminating the tunnel. He closed his eyes, forgot the embarrassing ubiquity of public transit, and uttered in a low bovine way, "Guuuuuuuuuuuuh".

Upon opening his eyes, he saw that she was looking at him. He began to pretend to yawn and look elsewhere, stopped, and waved sheepishly. She took the white shopping bag and set it on her lap. She patted the newly empty seat in invitation.

A Japanese dude sitting across the aisle had been staring at him intently, and as he sat down next to her he resisted the urge to flip the guy off. He traced '666' on his jeans to do something with his hands, and when he looked over at her she was already staring at him.

"I remember the first time I heard your groan. It was when Samar called on you in class while you were sleeping, and it was so obvious you had no idea what was going on, and you just popped your head up, and you looked around and you were so confused, and your eyes just went kinda blank, and you just went 'Guuuuuuuuuh'."

Her impression was annoyingly uncanny, and he did what he always did when she said something like that; start a new thread of talk.

"What is in the bag?"

She smiled and held his hand.

"You know I don't hate you, right? I couldn't stand it if you thought I hated you. Well, I do a little, but it's such a small percent, inconsequential, like ants or something."

He involuntarily jolted when she took his and and she withdrew it but had kept on talking. They sat there for a minute in silence, and the train came out onto the elevated tracks. It was sunny out that day and both of them brought up their hands to shade their eyes, as if in salute. She shifted the bag over so it rested half on her leg and half on his.

"Do you want to see what I got? It was a present from my uncle, actually, I just saw him."

She opened the top of the bag, and inside it was a nest of plastic bags, propped in the middle of them was a potted plant. It was spiny and with multiple stems that branched off into little pink flowers. 

"Well, that's nice. It's a cactus?"

"Yeah, it's an acanthus. My uncle says it was the plant they used for the crown of thorns, you know, for Jesus."

"Wow, that's a pretty serious plant."

"It's not hard to take care of at all. I just have to water it like twice a week." She kind of laughed and took out her cellphone and looked at it. 

He remembered the first time he saw her naked he was surprised by a nipple ring she had on her left breast. It was just a simple loop with a metal teardrop hanging off it. Other than the initial thrill and subsequent satisfaction he derived from it, he had never really given it much thought. He wondered if in fact it was a teardrop; he had always just assumed so. He suddenly had the desire to ask her if it was a tear or something else. Was it tear water, or just regular water? A drop of milk maybe, blood?

The robotic train voice announced that the next stop was UIC-Halsted, and she stood up.

"Excuse me." 

He stood up and they hugged, she did with one arm around his neck and pressed her face to his neck. She went over to the doors and watched him while the train stopped. When the doors opened she smiled at him, hunched her back and went "Guuuuuuuh" loudly at him. The rest of the passengers heard, and their gazes left her when she stepped off the train and settled on him. He watched her walk down the platform and when she had gone away from sight, he turned his head and saw that Japanese dude across the aisle. He was smiling at him, as if he was thinking of some joke that he was about to tell him.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

haiku two

in the morning light,
it's hard to be objective.
i still think you're hot.