He was angry. He was pissed off at the world.  He was so angry, he was almost a parody of anger.  A good looking guy, broad shouldered and buff, the face under his black do-rag a felicitous conjunction of features.  Like the many men who seem to feel degraded by having to use mass transportation (if they’re not driving themselves, clearly they rate a limo), he was sitting wide.  You know what I mean by sitting wide.  He’d staked out nearly 2 of a 3-person bench by pressing his shoulders against the back and spreading his denim knees a good 18″ apart.  His forearms were crossed aggressively over his chest, his fists tucked into his armpits as if to contain them.

I peered into the car for a sign (since one was conspicuously absent from the exterior) as to whether this was an M or an R train and saw all this at a glance.  He was sitting directly across from the open door and as I looked through, he stared into my face with a fierce burn that might have been a manifestation of existential anger or perhaps a token of anonymous loathing of dumpy middle-aged women with whom he is forced to share his train and his planet.

People like me are of no value to wannabe gods like him.  We’re powerless to lift him into his entitled firmament.  We obviously have no wealth or, like him, we wouldn’t be on the subway.  Also we presumably have no contacts in music, sports or reality tv, as these are young, sexy industries.  And we’re definitely not hot, so there’s clearly no purpose to our existence.

I let him glare at me.  And I glared right back.  I mean, really, did you not read what I just wrote?  He‘s disaffected?!  His handful of adult years of magical thinking haven’t paid off?  Boo-hoo cry me a river, as we used to say.  Let him hammer away at life for a few decades and sweat to make his American Dream come true and only after all that find out he was a victim of the biggest emotional ponzi scheme since the invention of Heaven.

Disaffected youth my ass.  I’ll give you disaffected!  Me and the rest of the middle-aged middle-class marks who played by the rules, that’s who’s disaffected.  My posse’s bigger than yours, Sunshine, and we’re reaching the point where we have even less to lose.

Here’s glaring at you, kiddo!

About Lori Berhon

Lori Berhon is a New-York based novelist and playwright. Her work is distinguished for its intelligence and for the vivid humanity of even her most impossible characters. She is actually taller, slimmer and far more elegant than she appears to be.
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