She sat quietly trying not to fidget. Her heart raced and her palms perspired and were cold as dead fish. This has been happening to her for over a decade now, and each time she tries to walk through the feelings bravely.
People surrounded her, rushing in every direction with full focus and intention in their fast strides. “Breath in one, breath out two, breath in three,” she softly repeated to herself.
It was time and she picked herself up out of the chair and walked as steady as she could, wondering if it was written all over her face and body language. She tried to blend, by maneuvering and using the common gestures of those that surrounded her.
The transition was familiar to her. She sat and looked out. “Everything’s OK, Everything’s OK. Please God let me have the middle free,” she murmured. Single file, one by one, they moved before her and moved beyond her. “Thank God, Thank God,” she sighed with some relief. Then there was one more person. “No, no, please keep walking.
P L E A S E keep walking,” she mumbled over and over, with her fists tightly clenched, and every muscle in her body held tight like a guitar string prior to breaking.
He looked like Charlie Manson. His black shoulder length hair was dirty and disheveled, and his clothes were worn, torn, and dirty, as if he had been living in the wilderness for years. His eyes were black piercing spears, and they gave him a wild and insane presence.
Charlie moved into place beside her, in the middle. She placed her head on the cold glass. The speed and vibration took over. It was very loud. Tears began to flow down her face. She looked at Charlie from her peripheral teary eyes, and saw that he was genuflecting the cross with his right hand to his forehead, then his chest, left shoulder, right shoulder, over and over, and at the same time he repeated “Fuck, Fuck, Oh Fuck”!
Faster and faster, higher and higher, tears flowing, genuflection, and Fuck, Fuck, Fuck.
This continued for a good twenty minutes. Then it started. The sound of metal against metal, and the shaking up and down, shaking left and right, shaking, vibration, and noise. She gasped and hugged herself tightly. She lost her breathe and gasped again as the tears flowed into her hyperventilating open mouth. The red light was on. A child was crying loudly, and someone said, “It’s OK, it’s OK.”
Charlie said, “Never again, never again. Oh shit, never again.” At that point she began to tremble uncontrollably. Charlie reached into his pocket and pulled out black rosary beads, and gently placed them in her hand. He called for help. Shake up and down; shake up and down, shake, shake, shake, and the metal grinding. The woman in a white starched shirt stood before them. Charlie asked for a blanket.
He covered her trembling body with the blue blanket. She didn’t say a word. Up and down, shake left, shake right, metal squealing. He told her to hold the rosary beads tightly. He said that he had them his whole life and that they gave him good luck. Her head bobbed in and out on the glass like a buoy in the sea, and she didn’t try to adjust herself for comfort. She followed his instructions and held the rosary beads tightly.
Two hours of shaking, crying, noise, coldness, trembling, genuflecting, and Fuck, Fuck, Fuck. And then it was smooth. Slower, slower, slower, and down, down, down.
She moved her head from the window, and sat up straight and tried to collect her composure. She turned to Charlie and said, “Thank you for taking care of me. You’re a very kind man.” She handed him the black rosary beads. Charlie replied, “We fucking made it, but never again, never again.