MrMary sort of saves a life…..

Hey Guys,

This is a short thing I wrote months ago that I dug up and am  editing hopefully to send it in some place. it is uneven and not fully fleshed out or developed but  take a look at it lemme know what y’all think. I cut some piece out and labeled section- these aren’t in the original



It’s a silent and unknown burden the insomniacs and night-time workers shoulder and to be honest it’s much more subtle than  ignoring the siren call of sleep.

While the city‘s somnolent denizens are drawn further into the depth of dream, these wandering minds breathe life into those tired memories that continue to perpetuate the simulacrum of the city we work in and pay taxes to upkeep.

The city at night, is a husk of what it normally appears to be. The morning traveler is accosted on every side by the  visions and hopes of bygone generations in corporeal form – the generation old dream of  faster trains, even faster communications, taller buildings and even taller machines to assemble them are solid right before his or her eyes.  To the morning traveler, the city is rather an ordered confluence of randomness, people, animals and cars moving together in a mad haste now here, now there rushing off to an undisclosed place.

For the insomniac, for the restless ones who journey under the cover of the nighttime, it goes without saying that ‘things’ are different, different to such an extent  as to raise the question whether it’s the same city at all, we encounter when the fading sounds of our footsteps return back to our ears from the edge of the night.

Memories of  Life Saved

Memories are a bit like the wandering night in that there is, there is always an element of surprise as unlike in the day time, face-value has no meaning. That shadow could be nothing, or it could be a pre-meditated mugging waiting to precipitate.

One is almost tempted to boast that at night the city becomes an unfamiliar city again, which makes sense as so many of its denizens are asleep. It’s only natural that the edges of buildings, and the face of the occasional passerby are obscured and expression less as if they one was walking in a dream.

I walked slowly into Penn Station, which when the sunlight fades shows itself to be truly the resting place for the homeless and disenfranchised. There are cops there on patrol. There is some semblance of  orders but it is farcical, only there for the sake of saying it’s there like church spires that  peak above the sounds of the night but have their doors locked and chained.

They kick the feet of those sleeping on the floor that look drunk or down on their luck, but they never touch the criminally insane, they leave them to be gently awakened from the endless carousel of the few images that mean anything to them, by the sounds of millions of feet pacing to and fro and the smell of the food in the newly opened shops.

They look like children when they sleep, even the one who makes clothes for himself out of old newspaper. I take this image in and make my way downstairs, to take a lonely empty train back to my apartment, back to my bed where I can indulge in a few hours of sleep before the trumpets sounds and I’m running off again to some mindless job.

I make it to the platform, and it looks like a train hasn’t passed in years, the newspapers pages are strewn about left and right there’s piles of garbage just sitting there and ironically no rats to break it down, it just gets drier and drier in the air, all these things mean to me, to someone who grew up in this morass of tunnels and garbage that there is a train coming soon, that will take me further down into the dark tunnel bowels of the city.

The Fall

I make my way to the front of the platform and pass someone who in the day time Id call a weirdo. This Hispanic kid has on the uniform of dissent and individualism, he has a mohawk, ripped jeans sagged below his waist a bookbag with nothing it in that sits perfectly in the middle of his back.  He looks lost, I cannot even hear his music blaring out into the dim-lighted silence of the station.

He stands right by the edge, of the platform, his eyes have the glazed over look, He is probably high. I worry for the weirdo but keep walking away by habit to my designated spot where I like to enter the train. But before I can get there he falls head first into the track. He doesn’t stick his hands out to break his fall  he drops and makes no movement.

I leave my bag on the platform and jump down.  I call to him in English first :

Hey man get up, the trains gonna be coming soon.
Hey Man !!!! wtf get up.

I then try to recall whatever spanish I know:  “Amigo, si se puede”, is all I can remember to say.  I am going to have to pick him up, i  yank him at the waist  and he start blinking, his pupils are dilated, I look to see if the train is coming, it isnt. But really the only time u see the lights of the 2 train you have about a minutes maybe some more or less.

Someone comes to the platform and I say

”  Imma hoist this dude up over my head  grab his arms and pull him towards you…. ill hold him …. ready ?!? ..yeah ok …”

I grab him by the waist and lift him. Luckily for me he isn’t that heavy, and all those years of working out have paid off. Unfortunately for me this dude though it was nice  to wear skinny jeans and have his ass hang out of his pants, His underwear are a faded purple and full of holes … I didnt need to see that, I only prefer to see man ass in 1990’s Bruce Willis movies.

“You got’em…yeah ok,  one last push….

He is on the platform moving a bit,  as I hoist myself up. I need to loose weight I tell myself. I move to get to my bag and then the train come hurtling down

We ( a third man has joined the hysterics) get him on the train. He is starting to come too but not too much, he cannot respond what his name is he can only nod when we ask is he ok. He is bleed above his right ear. there is a welt developing on his forehead. He is eyes are still glazed over, and he is quiet for a while, until the doors open on 72nd street and he get up and runs out and up the stairs.

We are all surprised and one of the guys tells me thank you, then the other one does, I smile and nod. I dont like compliments or making a big deal of things. I have blood on my hands some of it mine some of it that guys, I dont know which belongs to me.

I get home wash my hands and when I climb into bed my lady asks me how did it go and I say fine. For the first time In a long while I feel fine, not because I helped someone, but because I remember being on 18th street on Brooklyn, on the W train walking the elevated tracks on a dare, wondering whether or not i should  touch the third rail or throw myself  in traffic below.

I didn’t know what stopped me from that plan that day, I didnt know what compelled me to jump down onto the tracks that night.   I didnt know how we were gonna make rent, or what we were gonna eat the next day, but the blood was off my hands and for once I could finally fall asleep in peace.

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One comment

  1. That’s pretty incredbile man. But I have the same reaction to compliments anyways. The best is when your making details like tunnels as bowels or the church spires. Anyways it’s solid.


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