Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sunday Morning El Camino

sunday morning coming down. i am only wearing a pair of khaki shorts and small gold wire frame glasses. my torso is slightly hunched towards the stock thin plastic stearing wheel. no shirt. no shoes. i like the way the vinyl seat feels against my back. slick, sticky and warm. my feet are hot from the heat coming from the engine firewall near the gas, brake and clutch. the bottom of my foot neatly wraps around the clutch pedal like a palm against a warm mug. my right hand rests atop the two foot tall chromed gearshift with its faux ivory ball inlaid with the joker skull wearing an ace of spades card in his top hat. the acrid fumes are fabulous. heavy grease and gas. vinyl and coconut air freshener. the interior is a beautiful burnt orange and antique white piping and buttons on the seats. the whole car shimmies with 454 cubic inches of iron displacement. shaking while standing still. glorious horsepower. the light has turned green and my foot comes off the clutch mechanically realeasing the intense surge of torque and raw horses from the engine. everything lurches in slow motion as the wheels start to break from the concrete and squeal. there is a slight lift and lunge to the left. the clutch and stick are in synchronicity squealing the tires again briefly and now we are being pulled forward. my head is against the back glass with the corners of my mouth aching from my deep, broad smile. oh dear jesus the sound. the trees, parked cars and buildings are rushing by in sudden blurs. the black hood stripes racing alongside the white street lines. the whole sparse mettalic cabin feels and smells like a bomb. again i slap at the clucth and pedal and we are in full motion rocketing headlong down the boulevard. you can feel the cogs and gears all coming together and the forces being transferred to the wheels with each movement of the clutch. the tach hops around the dash. the speedometer climbing ever higher. the last gear approaches and i crank the beast into one last fit of power. hurtling down the road with the roar of air over the hood and the rush of the wind through the two windows. now a cool rush of air fills the car from the nearby lake.

6 train

swaying. rocking. grinding. lumbering. squeaking. the lights intermittently go off and on as i imagine some 1975 charles bronson movie scene would play out in my mind. bronson calmly walking down the center aisle while some switchblade knife wielding furclad pimp high on drugs and sweating profusely retreats through the car. nothing but the clatter of steel on steel. cool and simple fixtures surround me. not quite the sweltering and graffitied cars i expected the first time i rode the subway in new york. so many people trying to pretend to not be here. physical contact is accepted grudgingly however conversation and eye contact are forbidden for the most part. many people appear lost in another place with their headphones. i am overwhelmed by the abundance and variety of body parts on the 6 train at the jamaica queens station. young nubian shelf butts swathed in faux reptilian skintight latex. cubic zirconian toe rings in 6" heels with gold toenail polish. middle aged side-car hipped puerto rican women in flamingo pink shower sandals. young slender dominican girls going to and from work in discount flashing light tennis shoes. big bottomed long island housewives with denim smock dresses and barnlike handbags full of suburban lifestyle emergency crap and reebok walking shoes. pasty white undefined calves devoid of ankles. pubescing pimply jersey girls with the full-on ramones retro punk look entourage of wild pubescing boys. nineteen year old college girls with beadworked halter tops platform shoes and pierced navels and eyebrows with toe and thumbrings to go with the daisy chain tatoo on the ankle. a geometric phoenix rises from the beautifully low cut blue jean horizon over some girls ass. moving shaking twenty somethings out for boozing in their manicured toes clad in designer white open toe sandals. -i am homeless. i do not steal or lie or cheat or steal or lie. please help a brother down on his luck with any donation you have today-yells an enormous dark giant man as he wanders through the car routinely breaking off into falsetto sounds of al green-wrapped up in yo lovin...whether times are good or bad happy or two men burst into the car with an institutional box of peanut m&ms. they are dressed in stocking caps and baggy denim jackets and pants hanging almost to their knees. one member of the party appears to have just gone ahead with a pair of taupe support pantyhose rather than the karl kani job the man speaking has. we have peanut m&ms today on sale for three dollar-he yells. you all needs to buy some cuz they good as he tosses back a few from his open bag. forest mars would be proud. unfortunately this sounds more like some strong arm tactic to seperate terrified riders from their money. karl kanis boy goes to each rider as if polling a jury to confirm that we are passing an opportunity to get in on this peanut m&m thing. as with everyone else on this train all is well as long as eye contact is avoided. few riders look up when polled and the two entrepreneurs move to the next car mumbling about some broke ass bitches. each stop has a new look sound and smell as the station doors open. here caribean patois influenced english is heard with very dark passengers getting aboard with lots off children. everyone is dressed in strikingly bright pinks reds greens oranges blues. a man boards the train in a bankers stripe suit only it is lime green with yellow stripes. he has a silkish looking yellow shirt opened at the collar and yellow moc croc monk strap going on down at the floor level. he hurts my eyes and smells like patchouli oil. he is carrying a messenger type bag filled with fruits that i cannot identify. they seem to be emitting a pungent ripe odor that is rapidly combining with all the scents of the car. he is smiling with the most beautiful big joyful smile about something that must be wonderful. i move away from the smell of his mysterious fruit bag. several chinese/korean/taiwanese-asian girls get on board laughing and talking loudly. they all wear skin tight black pants with p\latform sandals and wifebeater style shirts with some cartoon character i do not know. suddenly i realize it is my stop and i push my way out of the intense little world of the 6 train.
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