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this town is our town

The lightrail glided from downtown towrad the city's eastside. Outside the windows, the trestles of the steel bridge, and below that the reflection of dusk captured in the calm ripples of the river. Rush hour, our car was full, and we stood, trying to balance in the crowded train full of weary people dressed in suits on their way home from work. We were on our way to the movie theatre. None of us knew what was showing, but we did know of a side door, away from the lines and ticket takers, an entrance that never ensured admission, but always promised a thrill.

We laughed, my friend who had been born in this city (I only point this out because no one here is actually from here) and another friend from upstate New York. The day was warm, the season where the nights are decadent and the days lazy. The train passed through the commercial district, and we squeezed tighter, so that more people in suits could climb on, stand still, say nothing.

Adrift in our car, amongst the smell of leather briefcases and cologne, was another staple of public transportation, the smell of cheap liquor. A woman and a man were in the end of the seats closest to where we stood, he in a wheelchair, and she making restless movements, from sitting in his lap to attempting a drunken seductive dance in the crowded aisle to sitting on the seat next to him. He was larger, darker skin, eyes bloodshot. She was thin, pale white skin, dirty blond hair, dressed in jean shorts and a dirty white tshirt. Each time she moved close to him, his large drunken hands would fumble their way to her hips. She would dance, move even closer. He would try to bring his lips to hers, then she would quickly pull away, stand up and giggle. He would slur something and she would peck his cheek then jump back into the aisle and dance again, humming aloud, eyes closed, moving drunkenly amidst the packed together car.

The suits all looked at the couple while trying to appear as if they were looking away. The din of the lightrail rolling across the track the only sound. The couple commanded the attention of the car. Her humming, his slurred disappointments each time she pulled away from him. At one point she began pole-dancing on the vertical handrail, rubbing her body against the pole, then grabbing his hand and guiding it up her thigh inside her jean shorts. He smiled, she kissed him. The smell of alcohol floated through the air. Eyes glanced at watches, hands fumbled over paperwork. The lightrail rolled on, the time transitory.

The three of us looked at each other and laughed. The financial buildings of the eastside passed by. We watched the drunken dancing, the intoxicated movements in the aisles, the rush hour crowd standing beside it trying to look blankly out the window, trying to pretend there wasn't a laughing woman dancing obnoxiously next to them.

She saw us looking at her. She laughed, and moved even more exaggeratedly. Then moved from the aisle back to his lap. He laughed too - a hearty drunken laugh. She sat down next to him, kissed his cheek. We smiled, talked amongst ourselves some more.

'What color are your eyes?' he said loudly, and a bit slurred. He looked at my friend from New York. 'Brown' she answered, a friendly smile on her face. 'They're beautiful' the woman told her. Both of their eyes fixed on my friend's. 'You have eyes like Stevie Nicks' the man said, slowly, heavy with breath.

The train approached our stop. *Puertas a mi izquierda* We smiled at them and then moved toward the opening doors.

The doors slid open, outside the orange lights along the walkways in the park mixed with the fading blue of the sky. 'Have a good night' my friend said to them as we stepped out. I glanced at them with a smile, they didn't see us. She was dancing in his lap again, their eyes affixed on each other, oblivious to everything else.


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