I had a dream last night that I had met someone without a face. Surrounded by a glow everything about it was alluring. What was most satisfying was knowing that I reached it.
Of course the bells rung and I opened my eyelids. The image stays plastered on the chambers of my memory, which would resonate with me throughout the day.
I put my hands on my lips. They’re dry. I squint in the morning dark. The 5 A.M. shadow envelops me. I can only see the blinking coming through blinds. Drivers in their cars below are headed to point B, forgetting about point A. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Forgetting.
Comfortable commutes are nonexistent. From the time a person wakes their Point B is somewhere else. The bumps are sure to be there.
In the back of my head I kick myself for sleeping late, because I had a train to catch in less than an hour. I didn’t know what was going to happen that day except that I would fall asleep to repeat the next day.
Which is why I’m thankful that I didn’t die today. At least that’s what the point of waking up is: the opposite of death. I don’t know when I’ll die. But I’m comfortable with lounging my legs at the end of the bed, feeling the fan blow against my toes. Somewhere in my mind I’m on Deer Mountain, trekking against a gust.
I still remember when I first climbed on Deer Mountain. I held my head up high with my chest out. I had thought I had become more of a man for the day. Of course physically I did not have the mountain man beard. In my mind I’d look like a Paul Bunyan and have my own folklore about how I overcame treacherous conditions.
Yet it’s the morning. I’m still here in bed wasting time. I still have to get to where I have to be later on.
I get up and walk to the window. All cars stay still. Traffic becomes a war of attrition. I feel the pull of tension. There’s a great responsibility in driving those little machine machines. You have to take care of yourself and make sure that no one is trying to cut you off too soon. The rear view window might be fogged up because your car’s heater is zilch.
Sometimes it’s good to live in a city with a train. You wouldn’t have to drive the car again. Still looking out the window the train zooms past the traffic, forgoing any cluster.
I still remember stepping onto the platform for the first time. It’s a weird feeling like a conqueror setting his foot on the sands. My first days in New York. At 75th Elderts Lane, I took a Jamaica bound train towards the east. I had not driven for the last year and New York was an opportunity to be careless.
My legs felt like jelly, as if they were a wobbly table. No seats were available. I stood at attention like an enlistee. And since then it was the same each and day. The delays, the bumps, and the wait were not in my hands. It taught me a great lesson.
My train would be coming soon. I closed the blinds and fixed my bed. It was the first time in days that the room temperature stayed still. I opened my door and walked to the restroom. Flicking the light, I see that my face is unkempt. There’s a hazy shade.
It had become apparent how departed I was from those days.
I still remember combing my hair for the first day of elementary. I’m rehearsing for a job interview. I’m looking at the pimples on my face. I’m writing on the mirror. I’m wondering if my face would ever be good enough for another person. I’m stepping out of the bus station in a new city wondering if she was still awake.
Almost instinctively I put my hands on my face, wondering why it looked this way.
Thinking about what had happened the other day I stared for a long time wondering how it happened. The best thing to do was to forget. Maybe I’d bring a book to read.