@ 30th Street Station

Amtrak30thStreetStationInterior2007An old homeless man is screaming at me. He is as drunk as the day is long, and I wonder where he procured alcohol from. Did someone hand over some of their hard earned money knowing what he would do with it? Is it possible he was holding up one of those “Will Work For Food” signs that seemed so popular in the ’90s and suckered in some bystanders, thinking he would actually work for them or that he actually wanted food? And he’s yelling at me in some language I am not familiar with as I stand in line to get tickets for the next train to New Jersey. I don’t even want to go to New Jersey, the land of a thousand sewers and of the Holland Tunnel, or at least a part of that illustrious tunnel. I would really rather go home and go to sleep but I know she’s waiting for me in Secaucus, in the Radisson Hotel where they put mints on the pillow and the keys are really cards.

He finally moves on after I pay him no mind, that homeless man who is drunk on cheap wine, replaced by a woman who had been hidden by his bulk. She is his opposite, sporting a stylish tweed jacket with jewels for buttons and smelling of jasmine with a hint of honeysuckle. I only know those scents because my soap is made of the self-same, and I wonder if somehow the two of us, strangers until this moment, share the same soap. I also wonder what else we possibly share, and I am reminded that this is a small world after all, whether or not we’re on that creepy ride made so popular in the Magic Kingdom. We are six degrees separated from each other, but we probably share at least one Facebook friend. I don’t talk to her, though, as the sounds of the old man’s screams still echo in my ear.

And she’s wearing white pants, even though it’s after Labor Day, but they still suit her, fitting tightly to her body. I don’t stare too long, though, because I know she will notice. She seems like one of those women who notice those things, not like the millions who are oblivious to leering guys. Continue reading “@ 30th Street Station”