Dried blood and cigarettes. The end of a bad night out. That's what the exhausted worker on the train looked like as I climbed aboard and looked for a seat. I sat next to him and saw that the smell of his look didn't stop there. He looked at me half in surprise, half in irritation, no doubt used to riders avoiding him, haggard and sprawled out half into the other seat. But I sat next to him, likely out of some need to prove that I'm not bourgeois or some stupid shit like that.
I pulled out my book to read and, like clockwork, began instead to scan the faces and asses of everyone around me. Sleeping against windows. Standing at the doors like sentinels readying themselves for their shifts as construction workers, undead servers, long-distance secretaries. I'm intrigued, each and every morning, by the energy people give off when they think others don't notice. Sometimes the waves emanate with sharp snaps and pops, short-circuited aura lights trying to light paths, pave ways only to sabotage themselves with a darkness that eludes their owners. As for the asses, well, you know. Butts.
I read the third sentence four times before I stop and feel it in my veins like a surprise IV - sadness, a deep and hollow sadness. No. Desolate? What's the word? Maybe that's too strong. Forlorn, yes. The reason that word still exists. After a couple of days high as a kite with the return of spring, I'm dropped hard. Trip over. Bad climax by yourself with nothing to show for it. I've always believed that we punch doors and walls not only out of a need to vent that anger, but because of a deep-seated need to see, no - make, a change. That dent or hole is satisfying. Proof of power. Proof that we exist. Sex, too. Ask anyone what makes a bad lover, and I'll bet you $20 one trait will be 'reaction.' No one, male or female, wants to hump with a mannequin. Okay, maybe, but you get me. These last few days of spring, I've wanted to make the world cum in some altruistic mission of passion. I wanted to erase the ennui of winter and bring light and fire back into eyes, hearts. On bended knee I wanted to caress the feet of the needy and make them want to dance. So much explosion and desire, the Pan in me a misguided berserker of love. It happens every spring, but this year it is particularly strong. To feel this way and see no reaction from the world to show it's real. Disheartening. Can I say crushed? Deflated. What did I think would happen? Silly boy. This morning that passion is added to the grey of last season. I return, one of us. Muted colors and vacant stare. You win. You've won, for now.
I look up from not reading and the lake of bodies swaying back and forth with every turn on the rails. Business blues ready to move that spreadsheet needle just another tick. In the back. Right there. I see you. Twenty feet away seated facing me. As if in a movie, he is wearing white surrounded by shadow. Does he have a halo? he should. Amidst the uninhabited bodies framing him in his seat, he is free. He gleams. A light that negates them and solidifies his place on earth. An extra in Wings of Desire. I smile, hoping he sees. I want to applaud him. I want to stand up. "Here here!" banging my hands together in praise and celebration. It's silly, but it feels very real to me. I seem to be the only one who notices this godchild. I should. I should jump up and Kung Fu kick these dead fuckers and make 'em respect some real piety right here with us on the Blue Line to downtown. Sit on their backs and crane their necks up to cast perverted eyes upon saintly luminescence made worldly for the likes of their ungrateful asses. Asses. But. But no. I don't. Of course I don't. I'm one of us, after all. I allow it. I allow the light to shine, to break apart my shadows. I allow him to simply be the source and me and mine the things that care for the shadows.
I cross the plaza and wend my way up to the fourth floor. I find my cube and set to work. It was only a couple of hours in when I heard the news of Prince's death. The day becomes Surreal and a piece of me is gone. Another light out. It would be another day before the full effect hits us, Minnesotans the hardest. But for now its a numb. An elemental of passion through sound. I get up and go to the window, the rest of the day an empty room to traverse. But I will. We all will. At the window I'm given a gift, a memory forgotten from the morning. The figure on the train, the white light amidst the penumbra. As I departed, I had forgotten how he seemed to look in my direction, a hand raised, as if to say goodbye.