for Debra at the 14th Street station
Somewhere in this deep city is a mystery - an enigmatic energy that floats through the tunnels underground. Every now and again I think I catch a glimpse. But when I try to actually look, it's no longer there - as if existing only in my peripheral vision. Sometimes I hear footsteps behind me - and once I thought I heard my name called out.
I became aware of this mysterious presence one bleak winter morning while standing on the platform waiting for my opportunity to join the crush of humanity known as rush hour. The weather was extreme, the air as cold as glacial blue ice - when suddenly there came a soothing rush of warm air - and as it swirled around me, the cold was simply gone. There were no fires, no furnaces near me. I was standing quite apart from anyone - yet this wonderful warmth wound around me and I was very comfortable.
Sometimes waiting for the subway at night can be frightening. There are always stories in the papers about random slashing, and strange wayward men approaching or some crack crazed miscreant pushing someone into the path of an oncoming train. But I felt silently protected by this same mysterious presence. As if it was guarding me from all harm
Somehow I seemed to think perhaps I knew what or who it was - just there on the edge of my brain - maybe in my memory, something tugging at me.
Who? What? Where? When?
A name would flash in my head, but not long enough for me to grab it.
Just then while waiting for the train doors to open - I heard the conductor in his classic New Yawk accent say "Dis is an E ta Queens, please step away from da closin daws."
And there it was, Anita Queens!
She's the woman who roams the underground of NYC!
© 2003 - Nicole Wills