Thursday, September 13, 2018

There was a young man seated on the bench in the middle of the Seventh Avenue platform, perfectly still, gazing in my direction. There was something on his forehead, a kind of starburst pattern radiating down. I thought it had to be makeup, a tattoo, something deliberate. As I approached I saw that it was blood—dark, drying, oozed from an unseen wound.

He made no sounds, not of pain nor anguish, nor anger, nor despair. An MTA employee stood guard beside him, also still, unconcerned, maybe just waiting for someone else to come. I glanced around for telltale objects—a weapon, debris, a skateboard. There was nothing.

What happened? I wondered as I walked away.