Thursday, May 19, 2022

I walked up the ramp to leave the 4th Street station, lost in my earbuds, Winterland 1974. A man waved to me frantically, imploringly. I scrutinized him and tried to assess the situation. He seemed stuck in the turnstile somehow, straddling one of the tripod arms in mid-rotation. Did he need my help? In a flash I decided not. But of course that assessment was self-serving. I didn’t want to approach this wide-eyed stranger and disentangle him from the teeth of this machine. If that’s even what he wanted. I thought in fact he wanted something else. The mechanism seemed to be turning a bit. And even if it wasn’t, it was absurd to think he couldn’t clamber over it, or under. Yet he still appealed to me fiercely, arm outstretched. I turned away to exit one of the other gates a little farther down. I looked over my shoulder. He was still there and seemed to be watching me. If he does get free then surely he’ll run up behind and clobber me in the skull, I thought. Kill me. Surely he’ll kill me. What else could he possibly want? Before I reached the stairs to the street I turned around again. I didn’t see him anywhere.