Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Subterranean home, sick blues

The New York Subway turns 100 this year, just like your mama. I was at its heart, below Times Square as the year drew to a close. Above my head, a bunch of people from New Jersey were freezing their asses off and not drinking. I played my favorite subterranean game: making words and phrases out of the train line symbols at a particular stop. At Times Square, you can make WANCER. This is probably why there’s no K line. However, any student of the formative days of our nation remembers the epistle in which Benjamin Franklin refers to Alexander Hamilton as “that Ass of Celebrity, and noted Wancer of this City.”

I bought a grape soda and ducked in and out of a subway car for a while, avoiding that Gene Hackman. I held a whole train hostage while on the phone with Walter Matthau. Then I got bored and wandered over to where some kids were banging on buckets to general acclaim. Too 1987. A guy who got a new supply of hair gel for Christmas and couldn’t wait to try it out was dancing with a dummy. Story of my life. There were the Dueling Casios, about which I will say no more. Then there was a nebbishy little German tourist, who wanted me to see his movie Until the End of the World, starring William Hurt and his own wife, which depicts a future dystopia where David Byrne is considered appropriate to play at parties. I told him to get stuffed. Then I saw her.

She was standing alone, on a plastic box. She wore a metallic blue toga that shimmered in the fluorescence. Her long metallic blue hair swept over her metallic blue shoulders. Her metallic blue arms were poised in the air, elegantly defining a frozen gesture. Her wise, Athenian face, cocked to one side and also metallic blue, gazed out unblinkingly at the crowd encircling her at a polite distance. She did not speak. She did not move. She was merely blue.

I watched the blue girl with some awe. She didn’t move. She didn’t speak. She was blue. People drifted in and out of her circle. A hurried businessman with a bundle of roses (I inevitably thought of The Glass Menagerie — blue roses) swept through her circle, but she was not disturbed, she was blue. A six-year-old child rushed forward suddenly and put a dollar in her basket. The blue girl suddenly glided down to bow to him, smiling as she went. The boy yelped with joy and ran back to his parent. The blue girl glided back to an erect posture, forming a new fingered pose, a new angle for her head, a new direction for her gaze, but was just as still and expressionless, and bluer, if possible, than ever.

I decided that the blue girl was going to be my new friend. As the group of admirers thinned out from the promise of New Year’s Eve going on overhead and everywhere, I changed positions to get closer to her. I couldn’t decide if I should give her money or not. Women like it if you give them money, but they don’t respect you for it. However, those were rules for regular women, and I didn’t know how they’d apply to someone who was completely blue. I wanted to see her eyes. Were they blue? Did she drink Blue Nun? Or Johnny Walker Blue? Did she sing the blues? Or just “Blue Bayou”? Was she a member of the Blue Party? I had so many questions for this blue person. Feeling kind of blue on New Year’s Eve, I met a woman who made Miles Davis look positively pink.

“Excuse me,” I suddenly found myself saying to her.

No reply. Not even a twitch.

I laughed nervously. “Yeah, I know you don’t talk, sorry. Or move. I was just wondering what time you got off.”

Silence from the blue girl. Some chuckles from the crowd.

“It’s just that it’s New Year’s Eve, and I was looking to do something different, and I thought, well, if you were willing, perhaps we could have a drink.”

Silence. (Except a man saying, “You wish, asshole.”)

“It could be a blue Hawaiian or a blue blazer if that’s important to you. Or even Pepsi Blue, even though I’m not really sure what that is.”


“I understand if you’ve made other plans. But I think a beautiful, blue woman like yourself ought to be doing something special on New Year’s Eve. Not that I don’t like what you’re doing, obviously I do, or I wouldn’t be here. I just thought you shouldn’t have to work all through the holiday, you know….”

I trailed off. From the blue girl: silence.

“Well, I’m making a fool of myself in front of all these people, so I had better stop bothering you. I just want to say it’s been a pleasure watching you be blue. I hope that your blue is all on the outside, and that you have a lovely new year. Goodnight.” I turned and walked away from the blue lady on a box.

“Wait,” a voice said from behind me. “You’re leaving?”

I turned and saw a single blue tear running down her face, leaving a trail of non-blue. She stepped off the box and wobbled toward me. The crowd cheered, and threw money into her basket. We had updated her act.

TUNE IN TOMORROW for the inevitable conclusion of JACK FUCKS THE BLUE GIRL

by Jack, January 6, 2004 11:31 AM | More from The Blue Girl | More from Women

Within the Chronology

« Oops I fucked Jack | Home | Sometimes I'm happy, sometimes I'm blue »


emmapeal said:

I LOVE IT! That was so sweet I could just die!
You forgot the "Blue Man Group." : )
Or did you?

prince said:

Did you know that you have to audition to be a subway performer? And the competition is very rigorous. Isn't that so NY? To go through hoops and such just for no pay and the worst possible jobsite....

Leave a comment