East Lake Station

September 9, 2013

I love walking past morning trees before the light to East Lake station. The early hustle bustle cars waving whooshing by trains screeching to a halt. The quaking worship of people dawning pretending to read faces tired and nervous, waking infants nipped by the breeze and the mother Sun, and the crackling voice of an electronic black woman: “Welcome to MARTA…” Soon hissing steel the hermetic seal breaches our shift and shuffle, no seats aboard and trying to avoid touching people with metal poles, but I must, “Yuck.” A subway map tells the time— four stops west to transfer, four more to climb urban veins. An old white man sighs, four bags too many, avoiding eyes like the rest of us yellows and pinks and browns. We zip past graffiti dinosaurs and junkyards of homeless stores and towns of rich lady homes. Unloading students at GSU, a UPS guy with dreads hugs goodbye his paralegal girlfriend. Then Five Points found, rushing northbound, a nurse shouting madly at the queue, “You gotta be fucking kidding me!” but regrets it too when the flow returns. Sardines northbound, ripe with cocoa butter, and acrid odors, and Fernbank ads: “Extreme Mammals” “Midtown, next stop, doors open on the right.” Dashing for Tech upstairs counting two steps per second swiping gates bounding rounding for Bus 12 and making it barely. Missed the hike up 10th, relieved, now pulling a yellow wire before Hemphill— only a jaywalk between me and a day’s work.