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Thursday, July 15, 2010

As it were—As it is

On the train again, forward-facing this time, clad in flip-flops and Capri’s, though shadowed by a former self, blazers with mother-of-pearl buttons, sneakers to navigate the city—this one knew block-by-block shortcuts, charging through revolving doors and marble lobbies—long before security guards monitored every skyscraper, she could turn a ten-minute walk into five.

She accompanied me across the inlaid floors of a rehabbed rail station—pounding down cement steps, folding her arms in the hot subway while waiting to switch lines—then appeared again in the woman who stood with one hooked finger circling the railing, swaying as she read her library book, oblivious to the train’s bucks and squeals.

Above ground a few minutes later, she peered through the door of a pub (still in business!) grinning at the reminder of a late night spent mocking a fake accent—he claimed New Zealand—she maintained New Jersey and toasted victory at last call when he confessed: “Philadelphia.”

Exiting the memory, I slowed the pace, peering up to immaculate brownstones—at the flowering impatience, the trailing vinca tumbling from wrought iron window boxes—dogwoods and pink hydrangeas crowding tiny garden squares enclosed in ornate fences. Up ahead, she looked back at me—keep up, hurry, hurry, but I didn't.

Instead I climbed the stairs, buzzed at the entrance and watched her fade away—striding down the street with all the other young professionals, fingers fondling I-phones and Blackberries, ear buds planted, cutting across traffic—her glazed eyes seeing nothing but the destination—the place at the end of the journey.

17 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

Some people miss an awful lot hey :)

jbchicoine said...

Liza, I love the way your writing always gets me thinking...
...once again, beautiful...

Justine Dell said...

Wow...this is really, really good!
It is an excerpt from a wip? Finished book? I loved it.


~JD

Piedmont Writer said...

This was beautiful. Reminds me of home for some reason altho I never lived in the city.

Lydia Kang said...

This was beautifully done. Thank you for sharing! I could see her when you did...lovely.

Helen Ginger said...

Beautiful piece, Liza. It made me smile and think about the changes in my life.

Tamika: said...

Loved this piece! As always you string words together beautifully:)

glnroz said...

"former self"??

Sharon said...

I know her! You weave a spell with words that leaves me always wanting more.

Robin said...

This was really lovely. The overlay of your old self and your current self as you made your journey blended perfectly. My favorite was old you trying to pin down the fellow on his accent. Make that my second favorite. My favorite came at the end when old you and current you parted ways. Old you was still caught up in that bustling lifestyle. You knew it and remembered it clearly, but it wasn't your path anymore. This would make for an excellent song and video. If you write it, I promise to dedicate it to you on Thursday;-)

Stephen Tremp said...

A reflective post in that we understand life is dynamic, rarely static. Enjoy the moment and the people we are with for we do not know what tomorrow holds.

Stephen Tremp

姿柯瑩柯dgdd憶曾g智曾 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
arlee bird said...

Nice word sketch.

Lee
Tossing It Out

WritingNut said...

This is very beautiful! I love your writing.

Lynda Young said...

I enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing it.

Jon Paul said...

Splendidly evocative. I concur with the other comments: it left me wanting more.

Thanks for putting it up.

祐音祐音 said...
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