12. Rubbernecking


Sooner or later fate will smile on you. Although today something didn’t feel quite right about it. Not sure why. No one knows what I witnessed. Not yet anyways. Even if they did, I had nothing to do with it. I suppose it’s what I do with the information. That part hasn’t been decided.

The subway was very crowded. I determined it must be rush hour, without looking at the time. More people to watch me drink. Half of them look down their noses. Make snap judgements. Half of that half is probably just jealous. They’re in no position to enjoy a beverage. Because the dry cleaning needs picking up. The kids have baseball practice. Rush home and start dinner. After traveling over miles of train track. And hopefully there’s no delays.

It’s not like I advertise it. I’m sitting all the way to one end of a subway car. I often feel trapped sitting in the middle. If I can’t stake my claim to the front or back of the car, I’ll just stand by the doors. I recognize in a way this is backwards. It’s just a personal preference. I’d rather avoid the no man’s land where the weirdos can get you. They always solicit the marks in plain sight. Make them conform to the societal rules they happen to be violating. Most of them know enough not to confront a normal with his back up against the wall.

Riding on the train you can begin to feel like a cave dweller after a while. Nothing to see out the windows. Opening doors reveal stale, stuffy air. The sun becomes elusive, and therefore magical. The first humans experienced this, and also thought the sun was a god. It’s so ironic when a technological innovation can provoke something so primal in us.

I glance up to see what stop we’re arriving at. That’s when I spot Supervisor M. My teeth reflexively grind along with the brakes. His seat is facing the same way as mine, but he’s in the middle section. And he’s much more animated than usual. Leaning left and right, around and in between all the other passengers, I try to watch him unsuspiciously. I’m sipping out of a flask like someone eating popcorn at the movies. Which could be grounds for dismissal. It’s secondary to me at the moment.

Another stop, and the crowd thins a bit, giving me a better view. Supervisor M sits sideways, putting his legs out into the aisle. He keeps leaning over and talking to some woman. Blonde hair. Conservatively dressed. That’s all I can determine from my vantage point. That, and she’s got nothing on Myra.

week 12 post pic

I soon discern they’re flirting. All the signs are there. He tries to touch her arm when he’s talking. If it ever seems appropriate. She does occasional hair flips. Laughs are exchanged, most likely produced out of the occasional awkward, and uncomfortable silences. Then attempts at conversation resume. Half-assumptions are made on my part.

I get up and start moving forward. I want to get closer, to try and listen in. It’s almost involuntary. I force myself to sit after advancing only a few rows. Can’t let him see me, but I still can’t hear. Leaning forward now, in need of hard evidence. Watching intently even though I’ve never been good at reading lips. Sometimes supplemented with the faintest of sounds, it can help me make things out. I can see they’re trying to remain professional and friendly. But their body language is betraying them.

My brain is trying to grasp what to do with this new found data. Data I’m willing to immediately accept as fact. I want nothing more than to run to find Myra, and tell her. But what if they’re not dating anymore? How would that look? She might wonder why I care so much. Maybe I’m just a good friend. Looking out for her. I should see if Carol has heard anything.

A few more stops, and blondie gets up to exit. Extremely friendly goodbyes are exchanged. She moves towards the doors near me. I can tell he is going to watch her go, so I look out the window to avoid incidental eye contact. Once the train moves again, I casually look in his direction to resume watching him. Supervisor M faces forward again, any excitement or animation has departed with his new companion.

Perhaps I shouldn’t jump to conclusions. There could be a logical, and reasonable explanation. That is one thing I’m not at all interested in hearing. Is it wrong I want this horrible thing to be true? Because it’s not horrible for me, it’s great. Or could be. Maybe? How would Myra feel knowing my opinion? Am I a bad friend? Or only if I don’t tell her? I’ve got to sort this out. I haven’t had much to drink today. Not for me anyway. But I’m feeling very drunk right now.