Metro AM

September 20, 2012

She played the violin in subway stations. Usually around rush hour. She liked the attention. And the idea that the commuters had no choice but to listen. She was filling the station with her sounds, her rules. She didn’t play for money–despite the business men in their dark blue suits throwing quarters at her feet, hoping she’d put down her damn instrument and come home with them on of these nights. She had freckles speckled across her cheeks and down her neck, over her dark dark skin. Freckles you couldn’t see unless you looked close enough, got close enough.  She wore a long skirt to compensate for her short hair, and shorter attention span. She switched songs halfway through, and sometimes, played her violin like a guitar. On Thursday, someone made a song request. A man, young and dressed unlike the usual crowd. Denim on denim on denim. Long hair, rough hands. Can you play Billy Joel? Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, please. He said please. He had a slight lisp and his left eye twitched a little as he put a long stemmed flower at her feet. One he had obviously pulled from the planter outside the station entrance. He stepped back, and waited, adjusting his jacket and looking down at his boots. The music stopped, she stopped playing. Her chin fell off the violin, lowered and she opened her eyes. Green. A little bit of yellow. He had woken her up. She dropped the violin on the gum spotted metro platform, and it made no sound at all. She took three steps toward him (one with her left foot, two with her right, not in that particular order). Four eyes were locked. A few feet and one set of plastic frames between them. He stopped twitching, stopped slouching. She slowly lifted one hand two inches in front of his thick rimmed glasses and raised her middle finger up above the others.

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