The first train out of the city is full of sleep straggles in smoggy winters. After all, it’s still night outside. The homeless men are still in a penguin huddle. Moving in a slow, musty circle, extending an unknown arm outward for a flying by quarter, once in a benevolent while. I jaywalk sleepwalk to avoid being nice and struggle into the hot uriny air gushing out of Market East upon pulling the door open. The PA system squawks a test message in a dry baritone. Icy iron chairs, half conscious anticipatory stares at the distant dark tunnel for a hint of train lights.
And the five women hitting fifty around the same time, magically syncing their bloody cycles, and their sudden and awkward conclusion.
“It’s like somebody pulled my uterus out, not in entirety, and just left it hanging and flopping there. For five fucking months”, says the matronly one with almost white hair roots but a deep luscious Santa red rest of the bob.
They all nod in understanding agreement, surreptitiously stowing their imaginary floppy uterus away in the confines of L sized depends. And sigh, fuming into the cold air.
“My sixteen year old got his left nipples pierced yesterday. And I had to wash the bloody sheets.”
“You must mean nipple?”
She nods her head side to side, and exhales again, smoky.
“Oh. You should have just burned them. There’re probably things and beings on there that you don’t even want to know about.”
They all smirk
“I lost my sleep at 3 in the morning. I just lay there, staring at the ceiling and mentally counting the minutes till my alarm would go off and I would have to get up and get ready.”
“Thank goodness you’re only losing sleep. I’m losing my virginity all over again” grunts Santa, and they all share a share-a-bed uncomfortable laugh.
The sleepless one with sleepily drawn on new lips catches me staring and smiles at me. She wishes she could go to sleep and wake up with pierced nipples, sixteen, virgin, and with a functional biological clock.