Looking for hope and good will on this dreary January evening. Not to be found among the unfurled umbrellas blossoming without heed to others’ heads and hats and eyes. Nor along the train tunnels, smelling of damp and scorched fuel. The sky-blue Tiffany billboards, posted before the holidays, look shopworn. The first car I try smells, unforgivably, of the bathroom. The next is a bar car, decorated with faux-bois wallpaper, which will have “no scheduled service this evening,” the conductor announces. Are we to hold out hope for impromptu, spontaneous drink pouring? I wedge onto the vinyl-upholstered bench with two others, one with a sinus issues of the nasal sort. January, either you must leave or I will. We cannot coexist.
The ride home