the eye of the morning commute

charlie ticket on the express bus

The leather strap on his tan bag is worn on the edges with little notches, like laugh lines. His khaki green trench coat flutters around his knees as he boards the train, but his white curls flecked with dark grey don't budge. A woman apologizes for the lack of space. "It's okay, I can practice my flat Samantha," he laughs as he smooths his tie.

The bubble of clear enamel protecting his American flag lapel pin reflects a distorted rectangle of the green-tinged florescent light overhead. He pulls out a thick manuscript and a tiny black case containing rectangular glasses just big enough to read a few lines at a time. He juggles these two objects, balancing amidst a tangle of people that resembles a plate of spaghetti, arms everywhere.

A few stops down, he steps off the train so others can get out. As people begin to board, he steps back. The train pulls away and he's standing alone on the platform reading the manuscript through his black-rimmed glasses, unaffected by the rush around him. He is the eye of the storm.