Monday, May 5, 2008

Equinox Ladies

[Late evening commute]

Loose black corduroys, not flared, a rain jacket, not bright, large leather purse, functional, brown pastie shoes, sensible. Smooth straight chestnut hair cut to the same length all around. Neat and constrained. She is reading Middlesex, the book in her right hand. Her left hand rests on her knee. Gold wedding band and a large sparkling diamond set in another. Her lips are set in concentration, she has a delicate face with downy pink skin. Blue eyes with pretty lashes. A good wife. She lifts her free hand to her hair as the other hand turns the book so she can read the next page. With large movements she twirls her hair around and around, pausing to reread a sentence. Spun into a glistening rope she holds her hair and runs her thumbnail across the taught strands, making a surprisingly loud skritching sound. She stops twirling and makes an 'o' with her mouth. Frowning slightly she resumes with a slower twirling, making sense of the event she is reading. She brushes the frayed end of her looped hair against her cheek. Pause, a brief nibble, she drop the coil, turns the page, and begins again.

Full moon over the Charles. A young woman slumps in her seat, shortish skirt, stripy tights, she clutches at her green vinyl purse staring listlessly at the ceiling for a few moments. The train rocks her gently over the bridge, hugs her to the steel bar as we pull in to the next station. Her hair is a tousled bleach blonde, held back from her face and large hoop earrings by a pair of large sunglasses worn like a headband. Hints of blue eye shadow, red lipstick. She straightens in her seat as we pull out again. More alert now, she opens her vivid verdant purse and pulls out a pale pink compact. Unconcernedly she unzips it, counts along a strip of bubble foil, presses out a small white pill, and pops it into her mouth. Everything back into the purse she slumps again, resuming her contemplation of the ceiling, gently rocking.