Union Square N/W Platform: A Fragment


The man appears first, with one stroller.
The woman, a few seconds later: double stroller with twins.

She looks exhausted, angry, waiting for him to say something stupid. To say anything really. Anything that would give her a reason to go off.

We’re on the other side of the platform.

We’ve been in the sun all day, walking, taking pictures, laughing. We silly-danced down the aisles of Whole Foods and bought a pecan tart. Kissing to kill time waiting for the train.

And then I see them.

He opens his mouth, gestures toward the train.

She breaks, waving her hands wildly, pissed about the route he’s suggesting, probably, though anything he’d say at this moment would just be wrong.

“Tranquilos,” I want to whisper across two sets of tracks and platforms, like some phantom voice in a movie. I want them to stop because I know how far you can go when you feel that crazy with fatigue or annoyed for no particular reason you can name– you cross this line and you don’t mean any of it, but it’s hard, real hard, to come back.

And three babies in between.

Tranquilos, tranquilos.


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