Friday, August 3, 2007

The Dream of the Shirtless

You sit on a one-car train that has no door facing the exit.
The wind is in your face and the rolling of the train
soothes you into a peaceful light sleep.

You become aware that sitting to your right is an ex-colleague.
She ignores you completely and is talking on the phone.
At first you notice how lovely she looks there jabbering away on her cell phone in a hushed tone because she should not be using it on the train.
You can understand enough Japanese to know that she is talking about you,
but you can’t understand what she is saying about you.

On your left, a salt and pepper bearded American in business casual elbows you.
He is apparently on his way to some kind of trade convention.
Talking to the Asian man on his right, he says in loud baritone
“God this train is crowded, I wish we could have expensed a taxi.”
His colleague begins laughing like a hyena.
They both begin to stare at you.

You wake up from your light nap and realize that you are not wearing a shirt.
You look for your shirt, but you can’t find it.
You notice that the other passengers are all staring at you, except for your ex-colleague.
She is now busy applying foundation and stares intently into a mirror.

You begin to wonder why you don’t have your shirt.
You wonder if you need your shirt for where you are going.
Are you going to the convention?
This question fills you with an unknown horror.
Now you really wake up.

Adam Markus
August 3, 2007