Texts from the Underground

On a crowded subway there is a man who decides that he wants to try to move forward with the remainder of his life. He decides this while sitting. After years of feeling stuck. There are people standing all around him as he decides this. There is the underwater-esque sound of music coming through headphones, the smell of cold weather sweat. 33rd Street. 28th. This is New York City in the twenty-first century and everything that is happening is amplified, multiplied. The man thinks of his mother and of his son. He doesn’t know where precisely they are. Many people disembark at 14th Street. Then the subway grows quieter. Then the graffitied advertisements on the subway’s interior walls reveal themselves. One says Time To Change Your Routine above an image of a woman at a desk. One is an illustration of a man taking a flashlight to his genitals. The man tries not to think of things beyond what he can see, but then the subway stops. There is traffic up ahead. He man sighs. This ride will take longer, he thinks. The man is tired and so he closes his eyes for a moment, just for that. The man dreams a dream of water; of faucets, a whole store of faucets, all of them running, the water bright blue. In this dream the man remembers to remember that he needs to eventually disembark, or transfer trains, or turn around. He cannot be sure of which. The water keeps flowing, the train.

Can I buy one?

One what? A faucet?


This is a museum, sir. Our faucets are not for sale.

This isn’t a store?

This is a museum.

The man becomes aware that some time ago there was a place in which he felt no need to move forward. Or perhaps it was a time. A time-place. A space-moment. Life in a state of perpetual resolution. Contentment. Why is it that the seats on these subway trains are orange? The man feels a body next to his. There is a full bag of groceries at his thigh. The dream is over. The ride continues. With open eyes, the man looks around. He has not missed his stop. He has not started laughing, as is common for him to do as he sleeps.

The person sitting next to the man buries their hand into the bag of groceries and pulls out an egg. They settle the egg in their lap and dig into the bag once more. They pull out a clear plastic cup. They crack the egg against the lip of the cup single handed, then spread apart the two sides of the egg shell to let the insides fall away. At the bottom of the cup lie two yolks in runny white. No one is looking. Nobody sees. The man, feeling suddenly invigorated, stands. He wraps his hand around the standing pole. He wants to move forward he thinks. He wants to make changes he thinks. The person with the egg in the cup takes a picture of the egg in the cup with the double yolk and will keep it forever in a place that doesn’t exist.