Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On the Brown Line

The dezhurny po eskalatoram [employee watching over the escalators] had left her glass booth. She was standing, standing on the floor, outside of her glass booth.

The dezhurnye NEVER leave their glass booths.

She was yelling at some man whose back was turned to me. “Shame on you, scaring people like that!”

He cackled, and the way I imagine Voldemort’s high-pitched cackle shifted, like finally seeing someone alters the way you’ve always imagined them, and you forget even the memory-alternative.

And then he turned. And then I realized just why she said “scaring people like that…” He was drunk, or crazy, or both. His eyes wild and iris-less, black rings in white rings in jaundiced yellow. His teeth were surprisingly white for the bedraggled costume, of what was presumably a homeless man, in which he’d dressed himself. He slunk along the floor with his shoulders stooped, like a zombie or a Salvador Dali sketch of a man led by wingéd Victoire.

The employee said, “Gospodi!” [Lord!] She opened the door to her booth.

The man turned, and took two steps towards her, and she looked at him, wide-eyed, from behind the speckled and dirty glass. He laughed again, and turned his back on her, and walked away.

The whole time a policeman watched from a safe distance away, rifle and metal detector in hand. He hadn’t moved throughout the whole tableau.

The ring line is full of crazies.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

I never cease to be fascinated with the whole 'dezhurnye blows whistle at hooligan, militzia stands and watches hooligan wander away, militzia harasses someone from the Caususus who is minding their own business' routine.