My, My Metrocard
(everything is going my way)
I went down, down, down, into the winding rabbit warren that is the Fulton Street subway station where the over breathed air was stifling and smelled like ass. I had a flashback to when i lived in Jersey Shitty, and had to navigate the dingy labyrinth every day on my way to Midtown. I took the Path to the World Trade Center stop, where you could always tell who had never rode before from the look of pained surprise on their face when they saw that we ACTUALLY DID ride right along the western half of the circumference of the hole that is Ground Zero. The sweat poured down my face and my heart started beating faster as I turned right and then left, went up and then down stairs, turned left and then right...the victim of some early 20th century architect's sick joke. Among the horde of living dead moving bodies were gum snapping blank faced cops, screaming babies, a crew of spanish kids wearing over-sized plain white tees with matching micro thin mustaches and bright white cigarettes waiting behind their ears, perspiring suits, the iPod nation of low-level office workers in their droopy khakis and linen skirts, buskers, beggars...a woman dressed inexplicably in a thick cotton hoodie with the hood pulled tight on her head and a torn denim skirt encrusted with filth, a man dabbing at the open runny sores on his legs with a blackened paper towel...
I turned the corner--my hands in my pocket and my shoulders hunched. The rumble of the 4, 5 was just up the ramp--I was nearly there, when suddenly I heard someone behind me saying the same thing over and over. I turned and saw an all-american blond wearing stylish eyeglasses with thick tortoise shelled frames approaching me with a concerned expression on her freckled face.
"You dropped this," she said, extending out in her palm a yellow and blue Metrocard with a large crease down the center. It stood up like a miniature tent.
"Oh," I said, flustered and perspiring and without my usually witty response.
I looked down and saw that all the zippers of my Le Sportsac were firmly shut. I'm not in the habit of keeping my card in my pocket nor of folding it.
"Um, thanks but I don't think it's mine," I said.
Despite her initial impression of being in a rush, the girl insisted.
"No, I saw it fall from your bag," she said, the pale pure white underside of her arm radiating upwards, as she still presented the card to me. She was probably 25 or so. A young professional not unlike myself.
"That's impossible," I said, quickly unzipping the front compartment of my bag, where I saw with some relief that my metrocard was still neatly tucked.
"I have it right here," I said, pulling it out for her to see.
"But I saw it fall right out," she said.
"Here," she said, pressing it into my open hand.
"Thank you," I said, and I was already moving, shoving the folded card into my pocket, heading up the ramp towards the waiting 5 train while ms american pie made a sharp right, towards the stairs and the N and the R and i imagine Brooklyn and a breezy walk to railroaded rooms with pier one candles and flip-flop italian ice cell phone light beer summer nites.