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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Stranger in the Mind Excerpt 2 (2012)

Chapter 8

    His grip on his books was unnecessarily tight and his grip on the cold metal bar above his head even tighter.  Taylor stared out between the smears of graffiti on the window for  a moment, but the environment surrounding him was too busy for him to stare long, besides there was nothing to stare at out that window but the occasional passing lights.  
    The sent of body oder from the unsleaved hairy woman's armpit crammed uncomfortably close to Taylor's face was starting to get to him but the teenage girls crammed against his back made it practically impossible to turn around.  Seemingly countless voices were chattering in a somewhat unfamiliar language all around him. Things would have been different for Taylor if they were speaking  English, but he found it more difficult to pick out the individual conversations though he tried.  The girls next to him were definitely the loudest of the conversationalists, but their teenage lingo was mostly incomprehensible.  He could only pick out every other word of their conversation.
    Finally the train came to a stop and about half of the passengers made a quick exit while only a handful entered the train.  Taylor was glad to finally find a seat between a sleeping old man who smelled of cheep wine and a girl chatting away on her cell phone.  
    Taylor enjoyed watching people.  He enjoyed observing their curious natures.  The old man next to him dressed in a drab brown jacket with leather patches on the elbows and he wore a worn out old trilby on his head sloped down covering his eyes.  The girl next to him had deep olive skin and black hair cut short and spiked up all around with gel.  Her eyeliner was intense—extending out from the outer edge of her eyes and curled slightly upwards reminiscent of an ancient Egyptian.
    Taylor's eyes scanned across the textured plastic floor of the subway car to the people sitting across from him.  Seated there was a young couple that was not shy in the slightest about displaying their affections towards one another.  Taylor's eyes quickly turned away to find a less disturbing site when his eyes fell upon the dark red-brown hair of young woman seated a few seats away.  Her back was turned and Taylor could not see her face, but he felt a strange attraction to her.  Her silky hair fell in long ringlets off her shoulders and down her back.  She wore a fitted brown jacket with knit black sleeves that extended down to cover half of her hands.  There was a bit of light faux fir trim on the collar.  She wore stylishly distressed jeans and her shoes were extremely sensible flat-souled tennis shoes—the kind made of black canvas with white souls where the rubber of the souls extended upwards across the tip of the toes.
    Taylors eyes fixed upon her and not even the rambling in his ear of the girl next to him or the concourses of loud voices around him could distract him from what he now picked out from the voices—a soft quiet humming, a sound like a soft mother's lullaby to her sleeping child, a familiar melody that Taylor thought he knew.
    The train screeched to a stop as Taylor jumped up to his feet dropping his books and grabbing again the cold bar above his head.  He wasn't sure if he had really heard what he thought he did and it only took him a moment to remember when he had heard that soft melody before.  An overweight old man and several others bushed by in front of Taylor and when he came to his senses for a moment he realized the source of that lovely melody had already exited the train—she was gone.
    Taylor pushed through the crowd until he found the exit.  Frantically he looked around but in the crowd he could see no sign of her lovely dark red-brown hair.  He stood there with his empty hands quivering in the brisk air as the train behind him resumed its course to its final destination.  He staggered over to the nearest bench and slumped down onto it.  
    “Hai dimenticato il tuo libro.  La fisica... dificile.” The familiar voice that sat beside him in the train said as she pushed Taylor's physics book and his notebook into his lap.
    Taylor looked up. “Si, la fisica.”  The girl smiled then turned and walked away briskly.  “Uh... grazie!”  Taylor shouted  back after thinking a moment, but it was hard to think.  Did he really hear what he thought he heard?  That melody that was so familiar.  It was the melody from his childhood—the melody from the sweet dreams he had in his darkest moments as a child.  It was all he could remember from the dreams, but the melody never left  him.  But did he really here her hum this melody?  It didn't make sense.  It wasn't possible.  Taylor was good at hearing, but could he really have picked out such a faint melody being hummed in that noise-filled train car?  Taylor doubted what he heard, but he believed it enough (at least for a moment) to exit the train long before his intended stop.  



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