Three women were sitting at the subway bench-stop waiting for the Howard Line B-Train North. Mildred, the oldest, was 62. She always had to sit at the left end of the bench, waiting for the train. Angie, in the middle, kept fidgeting. And poor Victoria, age maybe 30-ish, suddenly got hit by a dropping pigeon egg from the rusty support beam above the tracks, leading uptown...
Across from them sat Leonardo, a big black guy, waitin’ to catch the next downtown. He was wearin’ a red vinyl tank top, sportin’ new circular eyeglasses, and casually readin’ the sports section. He could see again, thanks to his new glasses. He looked up as he heard Victoria’s surprised gasp, and actually laughed as he watched her suddenly dancing awkwardly about, as if stuck in some kind of gummy-goo, painful stretching dance to get it off. Ooh, there it was on her skirt, splotched all over her left thigh. And when she let out her surprised gasp, she had bolted upright, knocking over her umbrella and satchel. It had been raining alot lately, and she didn’t know if she was gonna get caught again in it or not. That’s why she brought both things along today. Better safe than sorry, she said.
The umbrella took a gymnastic twirl through the air right into the gesticulating hand of Angie. It’s as if it had been totally planned. Angie’s fingers had been hurting a bit lately, she didn’t know why. Maybe it had been a bad dream, or something, and she was obsessed with constantly picking at her fingers until their tips looked like martian landscapes. She was presently working-away on her left index finger nail, picking and pulling at it. This, as you know, was driving Mildred crazy. And as Angie flung a tidbit of nail from her open hand, the umbrella came flying right in. She instinctively closed her hand and went right on fidgeting.
Victoria was still caught-up in her skinny ostrich manic dance of fashion horror and egg surprise, and that’s what Leonardo was chuckling at. Her hands wanted to scoop the tiny smashed eggshell and mess directly off her skirt and fling the gooey glob away in disgust, but in reality, she was too repulsed to actually deal with it, she just kind of pogoed around not really doing anything, just contorting her face alot and moaning this mournful moan. And awkward movements. It just made Leonardo giggle more.
The umbrella now in Angie’s fidgeting hand started spastically swirling around uncontrollably, as Angie twitched-away inadvertently, in a kind of unique harmonic rhythm with Victoria’s banshee-ish flailing. Also, by this time, gravity was taking its toll on the said egg mess, and it was slowly oozing down onto more of Victoria’s skirt. She still didn’t know what to do. And she wasn’t even aware of her umbrella’s latest journey. It was now swinging-about next to Mildred’s right ear, ever so close, and, as we can presume, she was none too pleased by this. She’d had about all she could take of this ridiculous affair. Get that umbrella away from me, and under control... at once!, she thought. What’s with you, ma’am, can’t you just be still?
Victoria was totally freaking. Rapidly picking-up downward speed with each gyration, the pigeon egg mess lost it’s grip with her skirt. Her anxious undulations caused major hunks of the glop to get slurringly flung through the air, kinda like broken pie crusts in slow motion. One glob of the slob blob unerringly landed at the tip of Mildred’s left shoe, all wet and slimy. Another chunk hit her cardigan on her upper left arm. A big one caught her cheek.
Leonardo couldn’t believe what he was seeing - here were these three commuter ladies he’s seen every afternoon - his daily ritual and schedule melding with theirs, so that every afternoon, there they were, something to notice or not, something always there, something always the same, yet every day slightly different. How crazy things were going today. H-h-h-ha! Look at what’s happening!
That was it! Mildred couldn’t take it anymore. This ridiculous person, (of course, Angie) was just too much for her. She shot up from her place on the bench, totally disgusted by the egg mess just flung upon her, the near-miss umbrella flailing by her ear, and, also, her own regrets in a long life over what she never could, or didn’t try, to do. Instantly, all that fury unexpectedly erupted as she viciously arose from the bench. And furiously stepped forward.
The umbrella wobbled mid-air.
Victoria discoordinatingly toppled into Mildred, both unhinged over the whole egg incident.
Angie stopped fidgeting, not believing what was happening.
Mildred’s mouth and eyes bugged wide open as the squealing sound of B-Line North’s brakes screamed into the station. Her foot had slipped sideways off the pigeon mess. As she stormed up, her nasty momentum had carried her out past Victoria’s inadvertent nudge, off balance over the yellow safety line and into the tracks, the train right there, the squeal drowning-out any screaming.
Leonardo stopped laughing.