Form 3575


There’s a line. It forms down the center. Indicated by a strip of stiff red poly-nylon attached on either end to two freestanding aluminum posts, the line forms down the center of the room. You man stand on it between 9:00 and 5:00, Monday through Friday. Between nine and three on Saturdays. Don’t try it on a Sunday. Don’t show up on a legal holiday. The red poly-nylon strip will have nothing to border or define; there will be nobody to stand in front of or behind. The line will be nothing but an absence. The line will not exist.

So you must plan. Set priorities. Take a long lunch. Set time aside.

To the right of the line, postal clerks stand behind a divider. To the left, there’s a Formica counter. Above the counter, there are racks containing postal paraphernalia. On the bottom rack, between the receipts for certified mail and priority mail envelopes, you will notice a multicolored booklet entitled MOVER’S GUIDE ™.

Between pages 10 and 11, there’s a cardstock insert attached with a perforated edge: “Postal Service Form 3575, the Change of Address Order. The front side of the form is marked BUSINESS REPLY MAIL (First Class Mail Permit No. 73026 Washington, D.C.). There is No Postage Necessary If Mailed In The United States.” In the upper-right-hand corner, a block of fine print states:

“Anyone submitting false or inaccurate information on this form is subject to punishment by fine or imprisonment or both under Sections 2, 1001, 1702, and 1708 of Title 18, United States Code.”

***** 

Dorrie steps out of line.

A silver-haired woman carrying a toy poodle in her handbag closes the gap.

Reaching across the Formica counter, Dorrie picks a copy of the MOVER’S GUIDE ™ from the bottom rack. She opens the booklet, turns past a three-color advertisement for moving vans; past a brief, bulleted treatise on packing supplies; past the ABCs of utility disconnection. Her turning takes her to the cardstock insert between pages 10 and 11. Dorrie shifts her weight. She readjusts the shoulder strap of her briefcase, which is heavy with pending business and correspondenceS owed, outstanding, long overdue. 

            Dorrie Spill

            New York City, NY

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

 

            Dear United States Postal Service,

            I am having some trepidation over completing Form 3575, the Change of Address Order, and hope you can help to allay my fears. Punishment. Fine. Imprisonment. I am aware that giving false or inaccurate information on the form is illegal under Sections 2, 1702, and 1708 of Title 18, United States Code. That’s perfectly fair; I’m not arguing. I’m also not planning on lying, but I do worry about inaccuracy.

            My plan is not exactly laid. I lack clarity. Or maybe I just lack detail. In light of my predicament, I wonder if it is possible to suspend punishment for inaccuracies submitted on account of confusion.

            Thank you for your kind attention,

            Yours,

            Dorrie Spill

 

“Excuse me,” Dorrie twists around. A man with a beard and a hand truck stacked with long rectangular boxes glares at her. “Can I get by please?”

 

Dorrie sucks in her breath, flattens her belly against the edge of the counter, and leans in. The man with the beard wheels his hand truck forward. It bumps the handbag of the silver-haired woman ahead of him on line.

 

The poodle bares its teeth.

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

 

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            Dear Miss Spill,

            The United States Postal Service is dedicated to providing mail-forwarding service to all postal customers. Please respond to each item on the form, and follow all instructions exactly. Your signature on Item 9 indicates that you understand all conditions and have completed the form to the best of your knowledge.

            To expedite the process, we suggest that you review the form in its entirety before filling it out. You may contact your Postmaster with any questions.

            Sincerely,

            USPS

 

Running her index finger firmly up the binding of the booklet, Dorrie flattens the pages and exposes the perforated edge of the form. She turns the booklet at an angle on the counter and places her left thumb along the perforation. She holds the corner of the form between the thumb and index finger of her right hand.

 

Carefully, she tears.

 

Dorrie sets the booklet aside, then places the form flat on the counter and flips it over. Up at the top, the instructions read: Complete Items 1 through 10. You must SIGN Item 9. Dorrie centers the form in front of her. She anchors the bottom-left-hand corner with her index finger.

 

Item 1. Change of Address For: (Check one)

__Individual __Entire Family __Business

 

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

           

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

 

            Dear United States Postal Service,

            We are intertwined. Interlocked. Can I propose to move alone in the world?

            Yours,

            Dorrie Spill

 

*****

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

 

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            Dear Ms. Spill,

            In the event that one or some members of a family are moving, but one or some are remaining, a separate form must be completed for each party wishing to have mail forwarded to a new address.

            Sincerely,

            USPS

 

Bolted to the far edge of the counter, there’s a pen holder. The plastic sleeve is set at an angle. The pen nestles inside, black and sharply tapered at the end, where a metal chain made of tiny balls attaches, drops down, pools on the counter, and snakes to connect with the base of the penholder. Dorrie reaches across the counter.

 

Item 2. Start Date:

__Month __Day __Year

 

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

 

            Dear United States Postal Service,

            Everything has changed. I can’t put my finger on when it started. I fear it might have been someplace at the beginning. But years. We’ve been moving apart for years. Or at least, I’ve grown distant.

            Yours,

            Dorrie Spill

 

*****

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

           

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            Dear Miss Spill,

            Please notify the Postal Service at least one month before you move. Failure to mark the effective date of the change on all forms will result in an interruption of service. We are not the ones that suffer.

            Sincerely,

            USPS

 

Dorrie feels for the pen. She grasps it lightly and twists, loosening it from the snug well of the pen holder. She rests her forearm on the counter, grips the pen, and begins to roll it over the hard bump of a callus on the side of her middle finger.

 

Item 3. Is This Move Temporary? (Check one)

__No __Yes, Fill in >

 

Item 4. If TEMPORARY move, print date to discontinue forwarding:

__Month __Date __Year

 

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

 

            Dear United States Postal Service,

            Does anything last forever?

            Yours,

            Dorrie Spill

 

“I’m sorry, can I just reach around you?” Dorrie starts. Juggling a potted plant and several pieces of dry cleaning, a young woman in a flowered sun-dress, red lipstick, and a bulging orange knapsack stretches her arm in front of Dorrie and picks a Priority Mail envelope from the rack above the counter. “Thanks.” The young woman turns and steps into the line behind the man with the beard. She puts the potted plant on the floor and nudges it forward with the toe of her sandal. “I’m sorry, do you mind?” The young woman hangs her dry cleaning on the handle of the bearded man’s hand truck, and freeing the left strap of her knapsack, she swings the bulging orange mass around, opens it, and begins to rifle, Priority Mail envelope a flapping encumbrance.

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

           

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            Dear Miss Spill,

            The Postal Service provides mail-forwarding service for one year only. After this time, mail will be returned to the sender. Please be advised that it is your responsibility to notify any and all correspondents of your change of address, if not the changes in your life.

            Sincerely,

            USPS

 

Item 5. Print Last Name (Include Jr., Sr., etc.) or Name of Business (If more than one, use a separate form for each)

 

Item 6. Print First Name (or initial) and Middle Name (or initial) Leave blank if for a business

           

             Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

 

            Dear United States Postal Service,

            I cannot answer to anything: Who I first was, whom I last became. What will become of her? Where will she go? If not now, when?

            Why, he’ll want to know.

            The apartment is filled with nothing left to say. Too cluttered to find reasons, too dense with troubles nameless.

            It’s a sad, sorry business.

            Yours,

            Dorrie Spill

 

*****

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

           

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            Dear United States Postal Service,

            Postal Customers filling out a change of address for a business must print the name of the business under Item 5. If the number of characters exceed the space provided, the information may be continued under Item 6.

            The nature of your business makes no difference to us. The United States Postal Service provided blanks. It is the postal customer’s responsibility to fill them.

            Sincerely,

            USPS

 

Dorrie shifts her weight again. She grips the pen. There’s a kind of low-grade spark, a tingle, or rather, yes, a light prickle in the tips of her fingers where they make contact with the pen.

 

Item 7. Print OLD mailing address: House/Building Number and Street Name (Include St., Ave., Rd., Ct., etc.)

 

Item 8. Print NEW mailing address: House/Building Number and Street Name (Include St., Ave., Rd., Ct., etc.)

 

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

 

            Dear United States Postal Service,

            I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this. It’s that lack of clarity I mentioned. Or maybe lack of courage.

            Yours,

            Dorrie Spill

 

Pen in hand, Dorrie moves to prop her elbow on the counter. The metal chain attached to the pen jerks. Dorrie’s elbow juts out at an awkward angle; the prickling in her fingertips shoots up the length of her arm; the pen jumps from her hand and skittles across the form. The prickle has transplanted itself to her chest.

 

Dorrie gives the pen an accusatory look. No response, although she’s standing there, waiting. And the prickle solidifies to a burn.

 

“Excuse me.” A woman with a baby stroller is pointing at the pen. “Are you done with that?”

 

            United States Postal Service

            475 L’Enfant Plaza (SW)

            Washington, DC 20260

           

            Dorrie Spill

            New York, NY

 

            Dear Miss Spill,

            An average of 46,000 American households relocate each day. The Postal Service provides mail-forwarding service to millions each year, all of whom complete and submit Form 3575, the Change of Address Order. Few have a problem; the form is, after all, straightforward.

            Although we appreciate your concern over submitting false or inaccurate information, which would result in punishment by fine or imprisonment or both, we do not believe that the questions put forth on the form confuse you, or that the proper responses elude you. We believe, Miss Spill, that you suffer from a             tendency to overinterpret.

            Are you moving or not? This is a form. It is not meant to be fussed over, plumbed for meaning, or otherwise meddled with. It is meant, very simply, to be filled out.

            Continued service cannot and will not be provided without a correctly completed Change of Address Order.

            Sincerely,

            USPS

 

The woman with the baby stroller finishes her business and fits the pen back into the holder. Angling the stroller around Dorrie, she steps into the line behind the young woman with the red lipstick, who is squatting now, hectic, stuffing items from her orange knapsack into the Priority Mail envelope.

 

Item 9. Sign and Print Name (see conditions on reverse)

            Sign:________________________

            Print:_______________________

 

Dorrie reaches for the booklet. Carefully, she places the form back inside, lining the tiny tears of the perforation up with their tiny torn counterparts. She closes the booklet, then sets it aside. She shifts her weight, adjusts the strap of her briefcase, leans her belly against the counter. The burning sensation in her chest has intensified.

 

She feels it coming on, feels the symptom manifesting. Her heart is beating. She closes her eyes for longer than is usual in a public place.

 

It’s smoldering.

 

She cannot move. She’s paralyzed, as in the bad dream in which she, this Dorrie, is a nightmare bedtime sotry heroine arrested in blank aftermath, trapped in charred nothingness, an apocalyptic forever after. Flame begins to lick at the edges of her heart; consciouness and unconsciousness blurred, she prays to whatever might remain in which to believe—to anything, anything for cure, for remedy, for reversal of this condition.

 

Evan Harris

269 Three Mile Harbor

East Hampton, NY 11937

(631) 329-3535

 

Visitation

 

By Scot Crawford

 

I awoke this morning to find that none of the many irritants in the world irritated me any more.

 

“Great!” I said. “It’s about time.”

 

It’s good that this has just happened, because today I have to go visit a friend who’s entered the hospital. Somehow, my friend has gotten severe pneumonia, and is now being kept unconscious with the hope that this will have a healing effect. I don’t question this logic. I’ve often thought that I could accomplish much more if only I were unconscious more often.

 

I’m very unlucky, I think, as I dress. Ordinarily, visiting someone who is unconscious would seem irritating to me. But not today.

 

I take the subway to the train station. There, I’m confused by the signs everywhere, pointing vaguely in this direction and that. There’s a lot of wandering blankly around on my part, without irritation. The ceiling is very low, and people are scurrying everywhere. I feel vapid, I notice.

 

I reach the place where you buy tickets for the trains. There’s a long line of people at the ticket windows, standing placidly with their luggage and children. I see that if I have to wait on this line, I’ll miss my train.

 

Well, it doesn’t matter, I think. My friend is unconscious, after all.

 

But then I notice a trainman exhorting the line of people: “Ladies and Gentleman,” he says loudly, with clear enunciation, and without contractions, I notice, which I think is odd on account of his plebeian accent, “if you wait on this line, you will wait for forty five minutes or more to get your ticket. But if you use our new ticket machines, you will have your ticket in two minutes.” As he says this he waves his arms at the ranks of unoccupied ticket machines standing like infantrymen.” All you need is a credit card, or a cash card, or a debit card, and you will have your ticket in no time,” he goes on.

 

The people on the long line stare at him silently. They’re giving him the lizard-look, which says: I don’t care what you say. You’re lying. If I use the machine, something terrible that can’t be fixed will happen. I won’t get a ticket. I’ll lose my place on line, or maybe even worse.

 

As if in response, the trainman continues to implore them: “Ladies and Gentleman, these machines are very efficient and easy to use. If you have any problem at all, one of our staff will help you. If you wait on line, you will miss your train, but if you use the machines…”

 

The people continue to look at him.

 

But, I trust the trainman completely, and head straight for a ticket machine. For a moment, it was very tempting to wait on line, especially because I can’t be irritated anymore.

 

I put my card in the machine, and it begins to give me instructions. The trainman was right, the machines are very easy to use. This is an accomplishment, I think. Usually, these machines are confusing and novel, and irritate people.

 

But soon there’s a problem. The train I want to take doesn’t appear on the screen. I check more closely, but to no avail.

 

“Sir,” I say to the trainman, who’s still pleading with his unshakable audience, “can you help me, please? My train isn’t on here.” I note glints of satisfaction flickering like fireflies in the dead eyes of the crowd.

 

“Yeah,” the trainman says, coming over to me, “what’s the problem?”

 

“The train I want isn’t on the schedule.”

 

“Did you check the schedule?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Lemme see.” I step aside, and he stands in front of the machine.

 

“What train you wanna take?” he asks.

 

“The six o’clock to Norwalk.”

 

“Nnngh,” he says, scrolling through the schedule. “That’s the Boston train. It isn’t on here.”

 

“Right.” I notice that when he’s not exhorting crowds, he uses contractions.

 

“Hey, Nelson!” the trainman shouts. “What’s with the six o’clock to Boston?”

 

“Sold out!” comes the bitter, anxious cry from behind the thick sheets of glass that protect the ticket sellers.

 

“Sold out,” the trainman says to me importantly.

 

“Right,” I reply, and shrug. I’m not perturbed. I put my card in my pocket and begin to walk away.

 

“Hey, buddy,” the trainman calls to me, “where you goin’?”

 

I turn back to him. “I’m leaving. My train is sold out,” I reply.

 

“Here, come here,” he says in a cajoling tone of voice, and waves his arm at me invitingly.

 

“Why?” I say. I feel this is a natural question.

 

“Just come here. Stick your card in there,” he says, and gestures at the machine. I shrug, and comply. What do I care what happens?

 

“Okay,” I say, “my card’s in there. But my train isn’t.”

 

“That’s okay,” he says.

 

“Oh?” He steps over to the machine, making a weird gesture at the line of people, whom have now turned their heads as one to observe the rest of the episode they thought had ended with another triumph.

 

The trainman punches some buttons on the machine. “What kind of card was it?” he demands.

 

“An American Express,” I reply.

 

“Right, good,” he says, and touches the screen with his fingertips, which causes the screen to become another screen. His intent face glows blue. Soon, a ticket comes out of the slot like a tongue. He takes the ticket and hands it to me.

 

“There you go,” he says.

 

“Thank you,” I say. “But this ticket is for tomorrow. I wanted today’s train.”

 

“No problem,” he says. He takes the ticket back, and scribbles some strange marks on it with his pen.

 

“There you go,” he repeats, and returns the ticket to me. The eyes of the people on line are bursting with queries they will never voice.

 

“Thanks,” I say again. “I can get on my train with this?”

 

“Yep, you’re all set,” he says, and returns to his exhortations.

 

I shrug, and walk away.

 

The station is jammed with people. I stand for a long time with my bag at my feet, watching the schedule board with many others. In the past, just standing among so many people would make me explosively frustrated with humans and the pointlessness of everything they do. But not today.

 

The schedule board says nothing about my train, other than that it’s on time. However, it’s now two minutes to six, and there’s no indication of where the train is, which track to go to. I look around and note that I don’t know where the tracks are, and I can’t see any relevant signs.

 

I decide to ask the helpful trainman what the deal is with my train. I walk over to him, where he’s still talking to the crowd.

 

“Excuse me, sir,” I say, “but, it’s almost six, and my train is nowhere to be found. Is there a problem?”

 

He turns to me with no sign that he recognizes me from moments ago.

 

“What’s that?” he asks.

 

“Ahem, I say, it’s nearly six and my train isn’t here. Is there something wrong?”

 

“Huh,” he says. “The board doesn’t say nothing?”

 

“Only that it’s on time. But that can’t be quite true.” I point out the time by showing him my watch. He seems mildly affronted by this.

 

“Huh,” he says again. “Hey, Warren!” he shouts to a passing co-worker, “how’s it goin’ with the Boston train?”

 

“Not very well at all, Roger!” the man calls out cheerily, and continues on. The mob of people milling about clearly hears this happy admission. But they don’t say anything. They just get shifty-eyed, and look plaintive.

 

“I don’t know,” Roger says to me. I notice for the first time that his shirt has the name “Roger” printed on the pocket. “The train should appear on the board in a minute. Just wait for it.”

 

“Okay,” I say, and return to staring at the board with all others.

 

Suddenly, a track number, five, appears on the board, and the crowd jolts into hurried movement. As this happens, a woman’s voice comes on the P.S. and says mechanically: “The Boston train is boarding on track five, track five, track five. This train is sold out, only people with tickets marked ‘reserved’ may board this train…” I look at my ticket. It says “unreserved”. Am I allowed to get on this train? I wonder. I look over at Roger and consider pointing out this apparent snag. But then I shrug. What do I care what happens? I think. Of what possible import could it be if I get on the train or not? Or if anything at all happens, or doesn’t happen? Why in the world would I ever concern myself with it?

 

I join the throngs of people heading for track five. It seems the sole way to get to track five is to go down an escalator that is wide enough to carry only one person at a time. Standing on either side of the escalator entrance are two trainmen who are checking everyone’s tickets as they attempt to descend.

 

“Okay, come on!” They say to people agitatedly. “Go ahead!” – “Don’t crowd!” – “One at a time!” – “This ticket’s no good, didn’t you hear the announcement?”

 

There is now a great blot of people squashed together around these guards. The people and their bags jockey for position, making little hitching motions around the floor. When someone moves forward an inch, the person behind them immediately moves forward as well, as though there’s some required distance that must separate everyone, and if it’s not maintained, we will all be nastily killed. To entertain myself, since I am becoming slightly bored because I’m not getting irritated, I decide to investigate my theory about the required degree of separation.

 

I edge forward to tiny bit, even though the person in front of me has not moved. My transgression excites me a little. The person behind me, persons actually, two women who are babbling things I hope I never say, immediately move to close the gap I have created between us. I move again. This time I angle slightly out away from the desired destination, because, after all, the person in front of me is not moving yet. He’s not a part of my experiment. The women behind me immediately shift forward, again closing the space. I now notice that another apparent rule is to thrust one’s baggage up the ass of the person in front of you, as these women are doing to me. I shift again, and the suitcase drops from my buttocks. This time the person in front of me has moved, so I angle back towards the escalator. The two women shift with me perfectly, repositioning their baggage in my ass and nattering. We have now taken a nice, albeit short, trip together on our little human train. I note with warm interest, rather than my old fury, that these women are very cheerful, despite the fact that I am unbearably near them, and their baggage is in my ass.

 

Eventually, I reach the ticket guards, who have maintained their initial excitement. I hand one of them my ticket.

 

“Thanks, you’re okay!” he says loudly, after a glance, then, “hold on! This is no good, this train is for reserved only! You can’t…wait a minute.” He glares more closely at the ticket, apparently noticing Roger’s scribble. “Oh,” he then says, more quietly and with some disappointment, and perhaps disapproval, in his voice. “Alright, you’re alright. Go ahead!” he then says with his old vigor.

 

I descended the escalator to the bottom, and the train is there before me. I look at my ticket. There’s no indication of where I’m supposed to sit. In fact, the ticket holds little information other than Roger’s scribble, incomprehensible to me, and the fact that I am unreserved.

 

I walk down the platform to another train worker, a burly woman whose French-policeman’s style cap is cocked in a way that makes her look jaunty, while her expression is tense and slightly sweaty.

 

I hand her my ticket.

 

“Business?” she says in a businesslike way, before she looks at it. No one has asked me this before, and I have no idea what she means, so I start musing about whether or not going to see my unconscious friend is business, feeling it probably isn’t, but, if it isn’t, then what is it? Tourism?

 

“No, th is no good!” she shouts as she looks at the ticket, “this train is…hold on.” Her brow furrows. “Oh,” she says more quietly, almost affectionately, as if relieved she doesn’t have to be nasty to me, and hands the ticket back. “You’re okay. Just go right on in this car and sit anywhere you like.”

 

I get on the train, thinking that Roger has a lot more power than I would have accorded him based on appearances.

 

This train is much more plush than the subway, but seems just as cramped. I pick a seat at random and settle in next to the window. I put my bag beneath my seat, and look at my ticket. “Unreserved” it still says.

 

The train is filling up, and soon we’re ready to depart. I notice that, despite being sold out, the seat next to me, and others I can see, are unoccupied.

 

An announcement comes over the P.A.: “Ladies and Gentlemen, this train is sold out! If your ticket says ‘unreserved’, you cannot ride this train. If you stay on the train, you will be put off a t the first stop we come to.” This is repeated several times. I look at my ticket, particularly the word “unreserved”. I wonder if this announcement impacts me in any way. Why would I care if it did? I think.

 

Soon, we are moving. Another announcement comes on, pointing out that t he snack bar is now open. This causes a line of people to form down the center of the train. They loom over me and chatter. One fat woman talks to her fat, male child in an insulting way for which he looks too old. I look to see if he is angry with this prattle. He doesn’t look bothered at all.

 

There’s only one person working the snack bar, and the line moves very slowly. Each person who successfully makes it to the bar, returns back through this clot of people, which causes a lot of awkward shifting around. I notice that the food they return with doesn’t look the least bit appetizing, but more importantly, it doesn’t look any different from what one would get from a vending machine. They seem to be queuing up for the privilege of having a real person hand food to them. The stiff plastic the food comes in crackles in their hands as they smile for, step on, poke at, and apologize to, one another.

 

I wonder why these people are willing to stand in line for so long, when this food is all they get for it. Are they so hungry? But, what do I care what happens? What do I care what people do? I think that probably this line of people will be there the whole trip, since it moves so slowly, and is constantly refilled. This turns out to be true.

 

Soon, a ticket person comes through checking tickets. It’s the same woman that was on the platform, I see. She has to fight her way through the snack people. When she arrives at my seat, I hand her my ticket.

 

“No, no, this is no good!” she says, with the same fervor my ticket seems to cause for everyone who sees it. I consider keeping this ticket with me for the rest of my life, just presenting it to everyone I encounter and watching them burst into excited denials. She goes on: “This train is for reserved tickets only! This…hold on. Oh. You’re okay. You saw me earlier, didn’t you?” I nod.

 

“You’re fine,” she says reassuringly, and coldly tears the ticket in half. I flinch a little, surprised, and expect the ticket to make a little squeal of pain. She hands me the piece that says “unreserved”. I nod again, and turn to the window. She proceeds to the next seats, in which two young men that are dressed like dangerous criminals, but I know they’re not, are sitting. They hand her tickets.

 

“Hold on, guys!” she says. “These are no good for this train…”

 

I placidly look out the window. We’re now clacking through the garrote of seamy, metal buildings, ropes of traffic, and smokestacks belching flame, while encircles the city. I watch it all roll by for a while.

 

The P.A. system clicks and a voice comes on. I notice that it’s the woman ticket person’s voice, and she seems irked; “Ladies and Gentlemen, this train is sold out! It is for reserved passengers only! If your ticket…” she says, as I hold my ticket and continue on toward my unconscious friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributor

Evan Harris

Evan Harris lives in East Hampton.

ADVERTISEMENTS