just saw a dead body. I'm from Manhattan. Well, not a dead body,
but an arm. I was riding on the Long Island Railroad. My husband
wants to date other women. That's what he said. A few months ago
he took up photography. He said he was feeling restless and needed
a creative outlet. Yesterday, I found this stack of photos on the
sofa arm in the living room. There were pictures of squirrels and
old people on park benches and then there were three of a woman
with really pretty, chocolate eyes looking shy and invaded. He didn't
deny anything. My husband Frank has this gift of being brutally
honest. So I packed a bag, and headed to Penn Station.
New York City is a little like coming up for air after your head
has been held under water. You take this big breath and get blown
away by little things like air, and the sun and the sky. I had to
shade my eyes for like the first 20 minutes of Queens. Who knew
overcast could be so bright? I picked east because I wanted to go
to the water. I wanted to go to the end of the line and be surrounded
by water on three sides. I felt that would be good. I figured that
I would find a hotel, or a lighthouse run by a lonely old woman
who would take me in for the night and make soup.
want to know about the dead guy. Okay, we were just pulling out
of Mineola getting our speed up again when the train suddenly began
to brake. But trains take a long time to stop, so we didn't really
know anything was wrong at first. But then the engineer came on
the intercom. He was like "Jim, Bill, get up here!" and
the ticket punchers ran up the aisle to the front of the train.
They were banging into elbows and not apologizing or anything. The
power was turned off and it got real quiet. I could hear myself
breathing. We all just sat there in the dim light for a few minutes
until the voice came on again. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are
going to be delayed here for a while as we have hit a person."
got real heavy. I started counting every second as it passed. Every
minute was a minute longer that this man was dead. I figured it
was a man. I figured he was dead. I assumed it was a suicide. I
looked out the window but I couldn't see anything. I was thinking:
five minutes ago that man was alive. I looked around the train.
It was the middle of the afternoon but without the lights on inside
you couldn't see people's faces. People were like silhouettes, black
shadows everywhere that I couldn't really recognize or relate to
at all. And I wanted to connect with someone, you know? But everyone
started reaching for their cell phones. One man was walking up and
down the aisle calling people.
hey it's me. Listen, I'm gonna be late getting in. I am stuck on
the train because we ran over some guy. Yeah. They shut the power
off and we're not moving for a while. Yeah! Oh yeah, he's dead.
Any messages? Nothin'? Okay. My wife call? Well, if she does, tell
her I am stuck on this train and I have no idea when I'll be home
tonight, okay? So, what else is goin' on? How you doin'? Okay, yeah
you should get it. I'll check back in with you later."
him. He reminded me of Frank. He's the kind of guy who just calls
people. He doesn't care who he's talking to, he just wants to talk.
sirens in the distance. It was weird, hearing sirens knowing who
they're coming for. A woman a few rows behind me had managed to
crack open a window and announced to the rest of the car -- "I
see an arm!" People started lining up to take a look like it
was some peep show or something. I felt dirty.
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