Tuesday, January 7, 2020


A couple of stops before my destination, I close my book and put it back in my bag, then sit for a while, alternately blinking and widening my eyes. I’ve recently found that I need a few minutes after reading to bring myself back to the “real” world, or I’m out of it and spacey for the rest of the day.

We pull into a station where the doors slide open, and I find myself staring through the frame of the doorway out onto the platform at a perfect tableau: in the foreground, a yellow strip on the platform bordering the edge, then a russet painted metal pillar that supports the roof of the platform, then a black trash can brooding sullenly behind them both. I stare for several minutes at this strangely portent diorama, vibrant and obscurely meaningful, struggling to figure out what it signifies, what I’m supposed to see, but then the curtain falls and I’m left looking at the steel doors of the train, back in the normal world again.

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