I didn’t want to believe that he got that bruised eye in a fight. His face was too sweet for that. His downy soft baby blues were those that could only belong to the gentlest of God’s creatures. Maybe he got in an accident…a rousing game of football maybe? His six-year-old niece or nephew accidentally hit him with an elbow. He was a bit miffed at the time, but held back his anger toward the paid to not scare the kid. Or maybe his cute but clumsy girlfriend mistakenly punched a bit too hard while they pretended to fight in their cozy one bedroom apartment. His clothes alone made him seem like a seemingly pacifistic person: grey wool jacket, colorful plaid shirt, coifed hair kept disheveled by the headphones over his head. Anyone that peaceful looking couldn’t get a bruise like that in a heated rage filled fight.
His knuckles showed no sign of bruising…except for a cut on the knuckle of the index finger of his right hand. No one carefully shooting through his MP3 player looking for a train ride selection could’ve gotten that bruise on his eye in a fight. No one with a big brown satchel, possibly filled with books, music, an old sweaty gym shirt and towel could’ve gotten that eye bruised in any way that wasn’t purely by mistake.
There was a young middle-aged looking man with sandy blonde hair and dark sun glasses. He looked Scandinavian in ancestry and wore a business shirt and trousers nearly about this moderate frame. He walked through the train, holding onto the pole with his disfigured hands. his fingers were unevenly spaced and looked somewhat arthritic. He held each pole as best as he could, as he must have grown accustomed to such a simple feat.
He caught sight of an empty seat and moved toward it. The man next to him with “normal” arms shared a courteous laugh or joke or pleasantry of some sort. They sat side by side, both with newspapers in their hands. The deformity of the blonde man with sunglasses extended pass his hands to his arms which were shortened and seemed to be missing elbow joints. Thus, they stuck out strain in front of him. He maneuvered through his newspaper (as he must have grown accustomed to) with ease flipping through and folding pages with no trouble at all for the rest of his transit.
There was a little Asian girl no more than twelve, whose metal filled smile was always beaming with sweet innocence. Long hair contained in a single low ponytail and bright round eyes behind her small framed glasses. Adorable. She was accompanied by an older while male, quite possibly in his late 40’s. Her adoptive father, maybe. He stood with her, talked to her and constantly made her laugh. He fixed her lunch sack on her arm. She groaned, the way children almost always do when their parents tell them to do something they don’t want to. He looked on her the way parents look over their children to make sure everything is OK to ensure that their bundle of joy is safe and sound.
There were three white boys sitting together: one with super curly “jew” hair, the other with more relaxed curls and the third with an “I’m-too-cool-for-super-jew-curls” low cut. The three all wore cargos and tees, two wore open-toes Birkenstocks, while the third wore skipper shoes you’d see on someone who was used to being in a life of privilege on a boat, or yacht or something. They spoke in moderately hushed tones and laughed quite a lot. With every influx of passengers, they huddled into a murmur and then laughed aloud. A girl, with breasts to spare, walked past in a strapless mini with a female and an effeminate male trailing close behind her.
The boys looked on at the girl. The one with moderate curls said something to the others. They laughed. Another set of teenage girls entered. A girl in a mini dress. Another girl in a striped shirt and pants and a third girl in half a shirt and short denim jeans with her pockets exposed underneath. The length of her pockets exceeded that of the actual pants. The boys looked on in wonder. They continued to look at the girls. They didn’t laugh much after that.
There was a couple that occupied the two seater cornered of the train. The girl wore white Jordan sneakers while her counterpart wore black socks and open-toe adidas slippers – the footwear of champions. They laughed and smiled, holding hands and interlocking fingers. The girl slung her legs over the boy’s knees. They hugged and cuddled all the while laughing and exchanging looks of longing. The man that stood next to them tried to choke back laughter as he listened in on their conversation. They kissed, nuzzled, caressed fingers, kissed again, and again and when the girl yawned, the boy placed his hand to her mouth. They sat in their own universe as the train jerked back and forth. And when it was their stop, they kissed, held hands and walked out the train doors together.
There was an elderly white woman with a few slight grey whiskers on her chin and a sweet demeanor. She gathered her things to one side to make room on her seat in the moderately crammed car. She looked up and spoke, at first her words incoherent. When I finally removed my headphones, she said “I feel like I’m in Kindergarden, these seats are so low!” She laughed, the signs of age apparent on her teeth. A bushel of thinning white hair sat atop her head and a set of large clear framed glasses rested on her nose. From the style, it appeared that the 1980’s retro look was what she preferred in eye wear. She may have been a teacher, her bags filled with books and paper.