Awesome Times

Emerging from the subway tunnel after work always felt like being born –into a night world. When I hit the sidewalk there were scintillating lights with the aroma and music of dining and dance. One night I came out of the tunnel and found my friend Apaulsté. He stood at an outside table and was dressed to the nines in a shiny pink suit and hat. After he finished his champagne he threw the glass at the sidewalk with aplomb. Broken glass shimmered everywhere. I asked this diety Apaulsté, If you were me what would you do?

If I were you? Here’s what I’d do! Apaulsté exclaimed as he launched into a high volume song and dance, the former acrobat pirouetting effortlessly and swinging around every lamppost. Without missing a beat, he took fireworks from inside his jacket and shot them out of the empty bottles on his table. By now a crowd had gathered around, humming and oooohing to accompany his soaring melodies. A juggling mime appeared out of nowhere on a unicycle and joined in. I stood there, awkwardly shifting my weight. As he careened by I backed up, crunching glass under my shoes. His volume increased as did the speed of his spirals. I backed up further, this time bumping into an enthusiastic transgender woman. Isn’t he just amazing? Why aren’t you singing? Come on, boy! Sing along- it’s for YOU! she told me. I tried to, but my voice was weak and I honestly couldn’t catch most of the lyrics. What came out was a tremulous jumble of mis-heard notes and tuneless non-words. At this point I was backing down the steps to the subway just as throngs from every walk of life rushed in to follow his every spin, belting out his lyrics like they’d known them their entire lives.

The routine culminated in a grand finale where Apaulsté did a double back flip and landed singing: AND THAT’S WHAT I’D DO IF I WERE YOOOOOOOOOOUUU!! He had landed in a kneeling position, pointing a white-gloved hand right at me. All the dancing and singing stopped and the entire mob froze, awaiting my response.

I found myself forcing a smile that I knew looked fake. Th-thank you Apaulsté! I coughed. That’s just what I will… do…do… My voice faltered and I could see the stares of a million disappointed eyes. I withdrew further down into the subway station, tripping over my own feet and almost falling, waving as I lurched on toward the bright fluorescent lights, leaving the crowd as frozen silhouettes above.

Finally I sat in a subway car shuddering back downtown. The indifference of the other passengers was wonderful. I love you guys, I thought to myself, looking around at the depressed and sickly vacant stares. You guys are my favorite.



Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.

One thought on “Awesome Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *