display | more...
For a few minutes the clouds keep up with the speeding eastbound LIRR train. The train rumbles rhythmically, humming out a whole note every other bar. The sky is a still life painting out my window, but the ink held in my hand - black and red - reflect a different mood, this time not dark...but one of diabolique love. I'm quite enchanted, and intrigued at how two children that radiate white light invoke the dark goddess in each other. Perhaps it's as simple as recognizing that pure heart. Deeee-ahhhh-bleee-tahhhh, she rolls off her tongue. It still echoes in my head.

There's nothing that gets my creative juices flowing faster than a train ride.

I'm a narcoleptic in a car (fear not, I don't drive - no license), whether I'm in it for five minutes or five hours. Pens out, book open, techno music on or off, and my mind draws a blank. I wake up some time later with evidence of dreams. Perhaps if I put it under a decoder screen of some type it'll give me a transcript? Okay, wishful thinking. At any rate, I can't even focus on a book in a car.

Buses are too bumpy, and oftentimes I'd rather people watch outside, anyway. Long road trips by bus aren't as sleep inducing as they are in cars, but the stuff I've produced on bus rides isn't nearly as brilliant as the end result of a fruitful train ride.

Trains move cities. The average city dweller probably spends a quarter of their waking time in the subway. At any given moment, any hour of day or night you have captive character studies (even better when they're sleeping, you can stare without getting your ass kicked). In a day of riding, you've seen a good representation of society, a tell-tale crossection. So many faces, the energy flows and ebbs. But be careful what you absorb. Shields up! Red alert!

I always itch for a seat, only so I can get-a-workin'. Sketchbook out, eyes down, the crowd disappears. My sharpie just moves on the paper, my mind translating shapes and sounds, no clear end picture in sight. White space to fill, ink to spend, a story must be told. I'm trying to put together a puzzle, and people watch on curiously. Sometimes I feel like I'm drawing solely for their sake though, trying to get these hundreds of clueless, mindless, drones to see the world as I see it: the beautiful truths, fulfilled passions without hurt, the love. Love between people, and an overwhelming love for life.

If I could set up a giant canvas in the middle of a subway car, I would. Perhaps someday, when my brushes have learned to talk, I will. I can't quite show the people what I see through my eyes yet...I still draw in baby talk. But they're watching, and they're curious. Miserably packed into the crowded subway car, they're watching. There's my ray of light, shining again.

Fierce Grrl and I love sharing our train tales. Actually, we constantly reiterate how wonderful it is to have a huge smile plastered on your face, uber-glowing, just sitting there on your commute, while everyone else has eyes that are glazed over. It's basically the equivalent of wearing a bright red jacket in a group of people wearing all black. You stand out quite a bit. People stare. You might as well be a loony talking to yourself. All because you're smiling. I love being high on life!

A Saggitarius in motion is never an unhappy one. I guess the train is my horse. The clicking on the tracks is the sound of my gallop. I can almost hear the swish of trees as I speed through the concrete jungle. Out the back of my Bronx apartment there's a view of a Metro-North train yard and multiple tracks. When trains pass I'm entranced, at ease. They're a reminder that there are places to go, that a world exists beyond the confine of my walls. That the world breathes, even when I try not to. Perhaps the next time I'm caught in a stagnant rut, I'll do a visualization exercise and picture a train headed my way...nudging me from behind at full speed. Gotta move those short little legs to keep up or I'll end up squashed. Such is life in the city, I've learned. Make use of what it has to offer or it'll eat you. I'm not afraid of being dragged into the seweres and eaten alive by the city's karmic rat warriors. It is wearing on me a bit, though. Perhaps it's time for an extended vacation.

Between Island Park and Long Beach my train crosses a bridge. The water's a deep blue-gray and from inside the heated train car, I almost believe it's warm enough outside to go for a swim. I close my eyes for a brief second, imagining how wonderful it would be to be in the middle of a large body of water, just floating for some time. The train slows pace with my heartbeat, and I know the platform is just a bit further ahead. I'm conscious of the air blowing out the vents, and I exhale. Serenity washes over me.

It's time to close the book.
Until we ride again, my friend!