Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Life Partners

Across from me on the F train, two ladies in their sixties.  Twins, I guess, but not identical.  I loved the way they dressed alike:  tan zippered jackets, crocheted scarves, thick turquoise leggings, & black sneakers trimmed and laced in pink.  They held matching handbags, and each wore a deep pink sweater & a tiny, heart shaped pendant.  Each had a red knitted cap, high on her head, & these ( & the leggings) gave the pair a gnomish cast.  An F train fairy tale. One of the sisters, on sitting down, tucked in her chin & closed her eyes, with a certain motherly resignation.  The other one was fidgety.  A bit of a toddler.  She was heavier than her sister, with more of a fondness for jewlery, with big, shiny rings on each hand, and on one wrist, a dozen or more bangles.  She couldn't stop fingering them.  Her clothes were grubby, and the scarf had started to unravel.  She wore corrective glasses.  Behind them, one eye was scrunched closed, and the other - magnified - was huge and accusatory.  A giant, angry wink.  She shifted position.  Patted her bag. Stretched out her fingers & admired the rings.  Turned the bangles.  Turned her wrist.  Looked around.  Winked at riders. Winked at me watching her.  Patted the bangles. Turned to her sister: as still as stone, face tight-lipped & impassive.  Long practised in the art of denying attention.  Lost in her own, ride-long dreams, & not to be disturbed at any cost.