Missed My Stop
I always go to the Philly Flower Show, which I shouldn’t do, because I buy too many plants, and it’s hard to get them home. I waddle to the subway, arms hurting, but the plants don’t care. Some repay me in blooms. On my Walkman, the last song I hear before I fall asleep is “I Woke Up In Love This Morning” by the Partridge Family, popular in the year I was born, 1971.
I miss my stop. My pitcher plant that I just bought from a North Carolina Flower Show vendor says nothing. Maybe it enjoys the ride despite having nothing to eat. A man sits down beside me and apologizes for waking me. He doesn’t mean it. He wants to talk, maybe because of my rainbow tee. “Mind you, I don’t have affairs with men often, but I’m discreet. I keep my wife in the dark.” I must be a priest—confessions aim for me.
A come-on? He could sit elsewhere. My gaydar often goes on the blink. I get off at a stop far from my home on Camac Street, too far to get back lugging my plants. I take a cab, pricey, but I’m lucky to flag one down on a night that has grown foggy. I go right to bed as it’s 11:30. I don’t stay up late hardly ever. In the morning, I don’t wake up in love. I go to work, another subway ride, at Amtrak. I remember the stranger with the double life. My own life is more than double. I know how to add but not subtract.
I have hundreds of lives and many plants. Kind of a family. The years are clanky cars rounding bend after bend. Until I have no more stops.