by Arthur Klepchukov

The only sound was the creaking of the escalator. The platform was sparsely populated for a late Monday afternoon in September. Everyone was looking for tomorrow with quiet eyes. But me. I gazed away from where the train would emerge, not caring when it would come because I couldn’t control it.

A short guy in a tattered sweater descended on the escalator. He wore old shades and looked like Christian Slater in some forgotten 90s flick in the back row of a video store. Stubble all the more pronounced in the afternoon sun squeezing through the rusty, unwashed windows. I checked my chin for a five o’clock shadow. Still clean shaven.

A voluptuous lady in a summer dress stared back at me, wondering if I was staring at her breasts. I wasn’t. Just looking for signs of life. Heart beating under dark dress shirt.

A homeless man wandered around, scanning the ground for shimmering value. Eyes skimmed my polished shoes. Nothing in my pockets that I felt like sharing. Couldn’t save him. Or vice versa.

The train came. Vomited a few souls and then swallowed ours. Dusk faded on the dancing landscape past the windows. The airport was loud, or so I imagined at the sight of planes. Ticket check. Pocket check. Weapons check. And up. And down. Arrived at my first funeral and wondered how much longer I’d be traveling.