“I’m sorry,” Cathryn said to her friend Lily as they sat down in the subway train. “I shouldn’t have said I’m— I shouldn’t have said I was worried sick.” The doors closed and the train started moving, carrying them away from the platform where Cathryn had just urgently left a very unpleasant mess in one of those clear hanging garbage bags that are supposed to better for security.
“It’s OK,” Lily said. “It’s stress. This is sudden and unexpected.”
“And downright weird,” Cathryn said. Then she was seized with a fear that she might instantly be surrounded by ghouls or goblins or other eldritch entities. She looked around. There was a lady with a bright orange shower-curtain-looking dress. A goth-dressed girl with black lipstick reciting a litany of discontents to her apparent boyfriend, who had four lip rings and hair dyed orange onto the scalp. A very small but very muscular woman wearing cactus-coloured scrubs. A fellow with a matted beard and jeans and a vest that didn’t seem to have been washed since the last unexpected rainstorm. Several people togged in H&M’s finest (does sarcasm still work?). Two very tired-looking women, even more tired-looking than most people, having a pleasant conversation. Across from Cathryn and Lily, a fiftyish man in a black leather jacket was reading a battered copy of Joyce’s Ulysses and glancing around every so often. All perfectly normal for the subway. Almost normaler than normal. Continue reading