Tuesday, September 09, 2014

flash fiction sketch--couple on subway--by KMKaung

Flash fiction sketch--#2

Young couple on the subway.

Everyone these days is looking downward at the App on their cell phone.

The phones glow in all colors in the dim light of the subway--Washington Metro, Red Line.

All of them have ear buds in their ears.

I have a sudden fantasy of some authoritarian hacker getting into all their earphones, and telling them this or that about each other, so all of them are going to have their lives disrupted.

I used to think they must all be so well connected, to be talking connecting like this all the time.

But maybe not.  Maybe it's just like me and my 4080 friends on Face About.

We hardly really know each other, but we think we do.

I used to walk around Inner City Philadelphia with a poet, who was only a little bit screw loose.

When we saw a bit of a building lintel lying on the pavement, she wanted it, so I helped her get it to her house.

Inside her house all the level surfaces were covered by tons of little figurines, each less than 6 inches tall.

There must have been thousands of them.

They must collect a lot of dust.

I wonder what they are doing.

Do they help her write poetry.

She's the poet who once read a piece of poetry eating a sandwich.

She's the one who said of me--"You do look a bit impoverished."

As I was applying for jobs at that point, I would say she was quite accurate.

On the subway, the young couple were very taken with each other, in a very nice, endearing way.

They were the only people looking at each other, and actually talking to each other, instead of looking at their cell phones.

At the back the baby in the carriage kept going, "Wai, wair,"

but if I were in Berm, I would write the sound "oo nge, oo nge"

This bothered one writing instructor.

I said, "That's the way babies cry in Berm.  Like dogs here go bow wow," but she did not quite get it, and refused to let it go.

On the subway, the young woman was a bit shorter than the young man, as they usually are.

Though there were a lot of empty seats, as we were going downtown while most people were leaving work, going in the opposite direction, they still did not sit down, but preferred to stand near a pole and talk and look at each other.

She had pale brown skin and black hair, and he had pale hair and pink skin.

Other than that, they were so alike in facial features, small cute little eyes, pert noses, white teeth, I hoped they weren't half-siblings conceived by artificial insemination with sperm from the same donor and different mothers.

What then?

They were so nice to look at, beside them the pale man sitting left of the aisle with his blond hair, blond eyebrows and blond eyelashes, seemed really pale by comparison.

After a while we started getting closer to the fashionable stops downtown, and the couple, if they were a couple, started looking as if they were about to say goodbye or else it was their stop, and they would get off together.

But they looked like people who had just met each other, not people long married or living together.

The man got off at Dupont Circle.

Even before the train pulled out of the station, and the young man disappeared on the platform, the young woman quietly pulled her cell phone out of her carryall bag, and put an ear phone in her ear, and starting scrolling through messages with her finger.

Now what was that?

Copyright KMKaung

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