26 June 2014

Let's All Dance - Commuting With Angels

Let's dance put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let's dance to the song 
they're playin' on the radio
Let's sway 
while color lights up your face
Let's sway 
sway through the crowd to an empty space
-From Let's Dance by David Bowie


Skinny middle aged white guy with a long pony tail of grating hair. Wearing jeans ass is so flat there's no bulge in his seat. Wears long sleeve tee shirt and hiking boots. He's standing between two other men all are looking up at a building that's undergoing some renovation. They appear to be part of the crew doing the work. It's not yet 6:30 so they're getting an early start perhaps owing to a looming deadline. Guy with ponytail doesn't appear to be in charge but neither is he an underling. He's a basic sort of chap --or so it would appear -- neither renowned nor notorious for any deeds recent or late.

Up the street there's a homeless guy just getting up. He's slept in a filthy sleeping bag on filthy steps on a filthy street near downtown Berkeley which is itself generally quite filthy. The homeless man has scraggly black hair and a long tangled beard. He us underweight his tattered clothes hang loosely. One can almost see the odor that emanates from him. He is stretching and apparently getting ready to face another day of near starvation and embarrassment though it seems possible that mental illness would relieve him of the burden of true self awareness.

There is a young woman hurrying toward the bus station she is Asian in her 20's wearing a pretty, expensive looking bright blue blouse and light white sweater. She has on very short pants that reveal shapely fit legs. Her sandals look chic and perhaps expensive. There is a purse hanging from one shoulder and she's clutching a smart phone. The woman seems especially happy but also in something of a hurry. She goes down the escalator of the BART station smiling all the way perhaps having had an especially good evening that has only just ended.

I'm sitting on a concrete slab of a bench waiting for my train. I summon angels to capture this modern moment and make it special for all eternity. So when the train comes the man with ponytail is sitting in it next to the homeless man and the young Asian woman. I board the train and sit and watch as the threesome levitates and the train roof opens up for them and they dance.

It's a beautiful dance accompanied by a large orchestra which has appeared in the adjoining car. The trio pause only to embrace and caress one another and spit fiery balls of incandescent rock skyward.
My fellow passengers are oblivious to the performance. They sit sullenly looking at their phones or at magazines or books or their laps or sleep fitfully despite the orchestra. But at the first stop an elderly African American boards my car and immediately joins the dancers. They now pair off but constantly change partners as the dance becomes increasingly complex and beautiful.

Transcendent.

When at last the train reaches my stop the dancers descend back to the train and disappear into a mist. I am alone. And so my work day has almost begun. And so the angels glide alongside me as I take the trolley and then walk to the school and teach and laugh and write and smile and read and talk and remember the magic of my morning.....

....commute.



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