Dec 17, 2009

Gossamer Threads

You are going to be late for class. The crowd on the platform at Metro Plaza España grows thicker. 10 minutes pass by and still no metro which is unusual for this time of day. 4.45 pm. tick tick tick. You spit out a text to your student just as the subway finally screeches into the underground station. It is stuffed with people. It isn't until you squeeze yourself inside that you realize who the metro is crammed full of. Brits. Football, flag waving, beer can swigging, singing, chanting fans all the way from buttfuck Britain to Madrid to cheer their team onto victory and they literally rock the metal can metro with their jumping and swaying revelry. Large thick anglo saxons with muscled pipes from pumping pints down at the pub. Thin Indo-Brits with thick hair and long scarves wrapped around their necks. All bouncing and chanting victory cheers. A mist of beer fills the air. Crushed against the doors, you look around and notice that the Spanish men in suits, bless their hearts, are smiling to themselves in amusement quite unconcerned with the mosh pit. Three stops hurl by. The doors open and close. Some bodies wrestle out, others squeeze in. One of the smaller Brits takes notice of your precarious position behind one of his brutish friends and immediately positions himself to protect you. "Are you alright?" he blurts out in English without a second thought to the need for translation. "Yeah, I'm fine," you reply and all the years of being stressed out over the tiniest interaction you deal with daily as a terrible Spanish speaker living in Spain melt away. Next stop is yours. As you get off, he calls out a goodbye but you hesitate, unable to reciprocate as you are carried out by a sea of bodies. He haunts you the rest of the day. During your class. Your ride home. Dinner with your boyfriend. Under the covers. His eyes haunt you. You can't understand why such a small act of kindness from a stranger should so cling to you but it does. It lingers, it swirls, and it wraps you up like a gossamer cloak for days.


Denalex said...

You're absolutely right! And that kindness is contagious ;)

the land of cockaigne said...

nice one-

Shehani said...


Shehani said...

notes: cuz some people asked... yes, this short story was inspired by actual events. And no, "buttfuck" isn't a description of the Brits. Where I'm from "buttfuck, somewhere" means "in the middle of nowhere". a small town. boondocks. just not a major centre. ok?

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