Looking for A New Ship

Entrance by Paul Guimard of métro Ménilmontant stationThe season, the weather, the time of day affect the profile of the crowd on the Metro.

A sunny Saturday morning in May. The not-enough-sleepers have replaced the all-nighters and the going-out-for-the-day have replaced the going-to-work.

The student is doing the dip and jerk, stuck on an adrenalin rollercoaster, the rebound from the did-I-miss-my-stop panic spike leading to the next one. The button down shirt, cheap slacks and sneakers say the yawns are from a night creating the next great tech company. Him or someone like him.

The flip-side, a woman hiding behind her hair and sunglasses, ear-buds tuned-in to silence. A run in her hose suggest an evening of fun. Deep in her seat, feet firmly attached to the floor, locked in place and ready for the lurching. The bends are the hardest.

The pouting father of the tourist family has his back to them. He thinks letting himself be the odd one out is the polite thing to do. Just like going along with his wife’s planning for the day is the polite thing to do. A day starting ninety minutes late.

A guitar intrudes with a gypsy song. The busking intimidates the mother. She seeks solace by comforting her four year-old daughter. The awkward jest interrupting the daughter’s fantastical mastery of all the buttons for her daddy’s television and  reminding her of the interrupted Saturday morning cartoons.

Excited about the old flames he was going to see at a reunion,, a friend of mine told me “When a women smiles, she is ageless.” An awkward breakfast the price of staying the night, I am now on my way home.


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