5/13/15 The End of Line

Nobody ever went to the end of the line. Not unless they’d done something real bad–like kill somebody or rape a woman. Hell. You could even stick up a few banks if you had the balls for it. You pulls some heists on some of the wealthy, take a couple of their shiners, and the police might do as much to put out a report on you. But really, in this city people are only punished for stuff that is really bad.

The tube station is dark and has a chalky smell to it from the grafita artists that busk everyday. Their drawings are left as smudged and ruined vistas on the walls. Where they get their ideas for those flowing colors and rolling hills stretching out onto a blue horizon, I don’t know. Nobody sees that within the city. Nobody cares to. The grafita reminds me of the stories my gran used to tell. But that was a long time ago. Down here, in the tube, with this warm chalky air that could have been as unattainable as Africa.

There are four other people on the platform waiting for the train. Business folk, by the look of them. long coats, sad ties for the men, sad makeup for the women. I could just pull out my piece and rob them all, and that’s what I would have done just last week–but I’m past that now. Now I understand what this sick experiment called humanity is suppose to teach us. Now I know what I’ve been waiting for and why gran had told me all those stories of fields and playgrounds she’d crooned about in her old age–she’d frolicked when she was a girl. And now there was the end of the line. The only place a person went when they’d committed a True Crime. That was what they called it true crime, like the genre, only weren’t all crimes true?–if they happened? The difference was the city didn’t bother with the bulk of them. What was the point when they were so widespread and—

A whoosh of hotter air than the already compact stuff around me comes from the darkened tunnels maw. The screech and clatter of the train on its tracks, the electric hum and subsequent slowing of the metal bull as it burst from the darkness. The wind would have once tossed my hair, but now I have no hair to toss. I’d been going bald anyway, like my old man, so I’d taken it all off and for some reason it’d hardly tried to grow back.

The doors sighed open. The metal bars and plastic seats were mostly open. The other people on the platform stepped into the train–late commuters, these, to be going home so late. Probably thought I was doing the same, though what kind of business person dressed the way I do, I’m not sure. I’ve never met them.

I take a seat leaving a space between me and the other occupant. No point in getting to close to strangers unless I have to. I’ve never liked people I don’t know being to close. Can’t trust they won’t pick something from you.

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