Rapid Transit

by Jake Barnes

We're on The Worm. I dread the part where the train goes under the bay. I hold my breath until we safely emerge.


It's New Years Eve. A bunch of cops pour through the door of our car. Whoop Dee Do. Red faced boys. Somebody must have spiked the punch.


We have dinner with friends at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Party poopers. Everybody leaves for home before midnight.


Down, down we go into the bowels of earth. There is a hole in the ground at the foot of Market Street. The train is crowded. My wife sits; I hang onto a strap, grim faced. It is cold. I look at my watch. It is January 1. I stand cheek to jowl with wilting celebrants. Swells and bums. Boys in low riders. (How do they walk in those pants?) Girls wearing mini-skirts, tottering on high heels.


Happy New Year. I grin at my wife, wink. She's bright eyed and bushy tailed. She loves the train. She loves The City. She loves anything that will get her out of the house. I tell her she would go to a shit fight if she had the first throw.