Somebody's Mother
The silence in between the notes


I stand on the platform, just so, to get in the right car at the right time and have half a chance at a window seat facing the highway and being in a car with doors that will open on my platform, which is small.

Thirty seconds before my train comes I step forward so that I am twelve inches from the edge of the platform and I look down and think about that man last year who jumped down to the tracks and saved another man's life and I wonder what I would do if I fell in just now. But I don't and I won't. That would be what six inches or four or two or my toes on the edge might mean, like those boys at the other end with their over sized Coronas and Newport Lights and Machismo that races through the very young and very old alike.

I stand here because I want to feel the train.

The train comes rumbling through the station and every metaphor that's ever been used rushes through my mind and it's still not enough to describe what I feel in my bones and muscle and connective tissue and the way my spine vibrates right into the cement so that I am a conduit that all the world runs through and up out the top of my head and into the sky.

The woman across the way lights a cigarette and proceeds to cough cough cough and I recognize that disease with the acronym you see on TeeVee now like it's curable and I know damn well it's not and she inhales and coughs out and inhales and coughs out and I know she's dying and she knows she's dying and I'm just damn glad that's not me and I wonder how many days months years she has left before the oxygen tanks. Or worse.

Sometimes I am in too much of a hurry and I don't back up and am run over by the rush of mad New York workers who want only to return to the false sanctity of their Connecticut homes; this is me, newly raw, bowled over by men and women who look just like I looked four months ago.

I get on the train and find a seat. I want to read my book but I am watching the highway not move and I am not on it and this is so new that it still makes me very, very happy. I press my face against the dirty glass and realize I am forgetting to be grown up and clean and professional and then I think, oh screw it, I'm wearing running shoes with my skirt and nobody does that anymore. And I have a red back pack that I wear over both shoulders so that my back doesn't go out of alignment and I look like the biggest dork in the world but I do not really care at all. As it turns out.

I race the shuttle. I race it from the train to the office and from the office to the train. Most of the time I win. Does anyone besides me find this disturbing? The walk/run is .9 miles and there are a lot of lights and some serious traffic and I walk jog along with my 15 pound pack and work up a sweat that I'll more or less be OK with as long as nobody's getting too close.

I am absorbed in the rhythm of the train and I stand between two cars where you're not supposed to stand and watch what can only be described as bucolic country side skating by. I have one foot in each car. I love this. No one has made me stop yet but I do get some funny looks.

I live on the Danbury Line. Stamford, Noroton Heights, Darien, Rowayton, South Norwalk, Merritt 7, Wilton, Cannondale... I get off... Branchville, Redding, Bethel, Danbury and back again.

Stamford passengers have your tickets ready.