Backhand Stories: The Creative Writing Blog

I stand alone in a forest of people.

When a tree falls nobody hears it, for the foliage is in Connecticut, or Central Park, and I wake up in Brooklyn. I take the train to work, look at my cubical wall and the photographs from the vacation I took last summer, or my feet in the orange tennis shoes I was wearing that day against the dirty pavement of Broadway and the filth and the flat black-holed, dilapidated, chewing gum stuck to the earth seems like the universe beneath my toes and I’m about to fall, a permanent feeling pinned to my cubical wall.

There is no work but the office is loud, I look around and see a coworker on a business call. Looking at his own photographs, pinned to his own cubical wall.

I go to the street at the end of the day and everybody is standing around, blowing in the wind in the colors of the season. One female with long legs and a light blue sock-hat stands a few paces onto the road, waiting, looking around, although the light reads ‘GO’. Our eyes meet as I tilt my head back to sip the coffee in my hand and I look at her from the corner of my eye as I walk by and she does so as well.

At the entrance to the underground I turn my head over my left shoulder to see her still standing as she was, with the cars passing in front of her face. I walk down the steps with my head still turned and between her thin legs, at intervals when the cars pass by, I see the sun setting on the horizon of 14th Street and the West Side Highway.

I regret, but it’s too late, and I forget.

I get on the train. I read. I walk home and wait; something will happen. I play a song on my guitar, Don’t Know Why, then The Birds and the Bees, and my cellphone disrupts the music of practice and progress. It’s a reply to a text I sent this morning, ‘I left at 11am’ she says. I ask if she has plans for the weekend. Still no response, I wait; something will happen. The winter is almost over.