Tuesday, February 12, 2013

F Train Conversation

I was slipping in and out of a reverie on the F train home. I perceived a woman talking. Where was she? I opened my eyes and saw that she stood right beside me where I sat, speaking to a man. They were both so close that I couldn't see their faces. But I could tell they were smiling from the sound of their voices.

She told a story about Sugarloaf, the ski resort in Maine. She loved it there but hadn't been in 13 years, she said. "Why not?" asked the man. A friend of hers—her best friend growing up, a man, a lover at some point—was up on the roof of his family's vacation house, clearing off the snow from the past night's storm.

"He fell from the—well, he fell off the roof."


"He actually managed to fall on the only part of the ground that had already been shoveled."


I watched her feet and legs. One leg was thrust forward a bit; she put her weight on the other, with her feet at right angles.

"So he snapped his neck. And he actually got up and tried to start his car. He actually thought he was going to drive himself to the hospital."

"Huh! Wow."

"When they found him he had blood coming out of his ears and everything. They put him in a coma. It took him 18 days to die."


"So that’s why I haven’t been back."

"Yeah. I can understand that."

"And it was one of those things where I meant to go up and see him before that, and I just didn’t"


"He sent me an email, I didn’t answer it. One of those deals."


Her foot moved a little bit as she bent her knee.

"When I got married he was the one who told me it wasn’t going to work. I should have listened to him."


"He said, ‘No, no. He’s not right for you.’"


"‘He’s not for you,’ he said. ‘This isn’t a man. You need a real man.’"

"Yeah. Wow."

"I should have listened to him."