Sunday, 22 August 2010

broken hindu goddess

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

It was 4:30 in the morning after a Saturday night of work. People leaned into one another drunk and passed out or talking softly as the brightly lit train barreled under the East River toward Brooklyn and home. What are you reading, she asked as she touched my book? I looked up to see her standing in front of me holding the center pole. She looked like a broken Hindu goddess, a sorrow betraying her smile and engaging eyes. Women, by Bukowski, I said. Oh, what have you learned, she asked leaning down closer to me? That a woman will put you under the bridge, I said glancing up at her. Oh, that's not true. I'm a woman. I smiled at her gauging her age - 26 at the most. It depends on what you want from a woman, she said as the train rocked. What do you want? A mousey young girl across the way sitting next to her yuppy collegiate boyfriend scanned me curiously then looked at the dark haired, dark skinned broken goddess standing over me. I don't know what I want anymore, I said earnestly. Neither do I, she said staring at me, the painted blue circling her eyes momentarily swirling, transfixingly. How long have you lived here, I asked, not knowing where to take the conversation. Oh, long enough to know that the ship is going down, sinking you know, with us on it, she said. I know, I told her, I'm leaving to Texas tomorrow. Oh, take me with you, she said urgently, I've been so depressed here lately....

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