Monday, April 19, 2010

The Long Forgotten Prom Queen of Ridgewood High Class of '79

Another new, Sunday morning stare down with that old judgemental sun burning back at me like it's asking "what are you doing up so early?"
But I'm not alone standing on the platform while I wait for a train to drag me away from the same old stupid suburb and slither down the coast line.
First there's a nice, young couple dressed in perfectly neat jogging gear, surely on their way to do nice, young things. For a minute I wonder what I could have done differently to end up looking so nice and fresh on a Sunday morning instead of an unkempt mess who looks like he just crawled out of an ashtray.
Then a group of Mexicans ride up on their bicycles. They're laughing and rapidly shooting insults in Spanish at each other. I start wondering if it's racist to think that they're probably going to work. Then I feel like a shit because they probably are going to work while a brat like me is just trying to get home to sleep off the contamination of the night before.
Then a few small groups of people in black coats and baseball caps start filling up the scenery.
But there's one woman who sticks out in the forefront of the shot. You can tell she's pretty but she looks like she's been losing rounds against time. She's decked out in a short brown dress with black stockings, peppered with runs and a stray hole, that go all the way down to a worn looking pair of black leather boots that were probably expensive when they still had a tag on them. She's shivering a little and bringing her long painted fingertips to her fading red lips to take a drag off her cigarette. I make a bet with myself that it's menthol, I don't' know why. Then she runs the other hand through her black/grayish Brillo hair and flips on a pair of dark glasses that seem to cover half her face.
So the joke is that I may look the mess, hair tossed in ten directions, clothes wrinkled, and of course the stale taste in my mouth of a few drinks the night before. But otherwise I feel fine. I feel good. For once I'm waiting for an AM weekend train without any hangover or lingering doubts about things I might have done or said the night before. No frantic scrolls through the SENT MESSAGES menu on the phone to make sure I didn't accidentally end a friendship or scare off a girl. Nope, my conscience is clear.
Don't know about hers.

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