Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"SHE WALKS" (1987)

She walks. Work is over. Another day is ending. Now the train ride home.
Preying eyes watch her as she walks. She feels them on her way to the station. She hears whistles.
She stands on the platform. People mill about. Amoung them are the eyes. One moves near her, looks her over, “Hey pretty mama, how about some fun?” She looks at her feet. “Bitch!” he barks as he moves away, eyeing other women as he passes.
On the train, more preying eyes. She finds a seat. All around eyes look at her. She wishes she could shrink up small.
A good-looking man enters the train. Their eyes meet. He smiles. She looks away. He sits beside her. She looks at him. He smiles again. She smiles.
The train slows down. “The wonderful efficiency of the Transit System,” the man quips.
“Maybe the conductor’s taking a nap,” She returns.
He laughs. The train speeds up. They are silent. The next stop comes up. He gets off. As the doors close, he looks back and smiles, but says nothing.
Another man sits next to her. He smells of beer. “Whatcha doin’ tonight, sweet lady?”
“Blowing up trains,” she answers.
“Hey, sounds like fun. Can I join you?”
“I only do solo.” She looks at her feet again. She feels depressed. Why doesn’t he go away?
“Not very friendly, are you?”
She says nothing. The man’s attention wanders elsewhere. He whistles some out-of tune.
She exits her stop. As she climbs the stairs to the street, she passes a panhandler who makes sucking sounds at her, as if she were a dog.
As she waits at an intersection for the light to change, a pack of wolves, closing up their construction site for the night, begin howling and whistling at her. One says, “Hey good-lookin’, how ‘bout you and me and someplace private?” They all laugh.
Her face heats up. Her eyes swell and become itchy.
More cat-calls, whistles, lip smacking. One comes over to her. “Hey, babe, how about a kiss?” The others cheer him on.
“No thank you.” Her throat is tight.
“Now, now, you’re not just a prick-teaser, are you?” he leers.
“Oooohhhh!” the rest chorus.
A male cop comes along his beat. “Aliright boys, you've had enough fun. Leave the poor girl alone.”
A downcast “ohhh!” comes from the pack. The ‘boldest’ one rejoins them.
The light changes. “They really don’t mean any harm,” the cop offers.
“Don’t they?” Her eyes tear, her brow creases.
She crosses the street. Walking fast. Down her block. She feels the eyes following her. Peering from windows. She looks up at the buildings she passes. The windows look like many eyes, coldly watching her.
She quickens her pace. Almost running. She must escape the walls of prying eyes.
She enters her building. Her heart is pounding. A neighbor man is at his mailbox. He gawks at her legs as she climbs the stairs.
She opens her door. Quickly, she enters, closes and locks it. She is safe.
“What took you so long?” demands her boyfriend. He stands in the entrance to the kitchenette, his arms folded across his chest.
“The train was...” she starts, low.
“What?! Speak up I can’t hear you!”
“The train was slow.”
He snorts. Walks back into the kitchenette. The depression envelopes her. She was safe, but...
“I’m hungry!” he calls to her.
She longed to just hold him. But he is grouchy when he is hungry.
She thinks about what to cook him for dinner as she crosses to the kitchenette.
Another day has ended. Another night begins.

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