, and the sun is shining through the thin blinds. The water is boiling on the stove and Sinatra is playing on the radio again. I hate Sinatra, but I don't turn the radio off. It hardly affects me anymore--I still hate the music, but the hate itself is distant and dulled, like a once-captivating picture on an old Life magazine cover. Sinatra has no control over me and in return I have no control over Sinatra, but something is out of place with that description. The faded memory of a photo seen in youth; even my hatred is too tenuous to be convincing.
I clear my mind and stare into the drain, as motionless as it is, and as I stare into it the black center widens as if thickly oozing out of the drainpipe and envelopes the entire sink.
. . .
I realize I've been standing in front of the sink for over an hour and a half and the water has boiled away, leaving an empty pot. Luckily I have the presence of mind to put on the stove mitts before picking up the pan and setting it down in the empty sink.
It's almost time to leave, so I begin to get ready for work. I take off all of my clothes, and put on a new set. It's hard to explain, but no longer surprising -- now I am a different person. Maybe this would be useful: Show a child a newspaper cutout of a lion's picture, and they'll say it's a lion. Fold it into a paper airplane and it will be a paper airplane. There really isn't a trick to it. You'd ask me to say what the change in me is, and I would ask you right back.
I step outside, walk to the subway, and descend underground.
By instinct I look at the faces around me--the pretty young girl with her (fiancé, lover, husband, brother), the old woman with a blank stare, her life nearly over. I begin to feel queasy and I stop looking. Instead I focus my eyes into the distance as my movements become mechanical and I let myself become movement itself, become a means to my ultimate destination.
I move quickly past the faces. They don't have any distinction, are just obstacles, as I navigate to Platform 3. I squeeze into the train, and am immediately relieved to be free of the open space.