>The Strabismics Pt. 2


They took the 6 train to Union Square and transferred to the L train. Bohemian accordian music floated hazily along the platform. Their bellies fluttered with the unknown. After a few minutes the silver train bulleted to a slow stop, humming as the robotic man’s voice said, Stand clear of the closing doors please.

By the fourth stop in Brooklyn, they were alone with a little Mayan-looking mother with a brown sugar colored baby in a stroller, a girl with a pallor that oddly matched her pink hair and fishnet leggings, a dude in a tank top and colorfully inked sleeves, and a couple of punks wearing denim vests and baseball caps with the brim flipped up. The subway rumbled to their stop, and the punks joined them in waiting for the doors to open. They walked up the stairs and the indigo spring sky devoured them.

 Buckley strutted into the brisk swinging a jean-jacketed arm as he held his other to his ear to call his man. There was no answer. Buckley left a message. They would wait five minutes. They stood in the style of rebels without a cause, arms folded, smoking cigarettes, a booted foot bent at a 90 degree angle, propping them against the brick wall.

Around them square buildings sat clunking in industry. Mesh steel fences hovered gravely as shreds of plastic bags caught in barbed wire flickered in the wind. Behind the fences was more of the ubiquitous brick plated with black steel grated windows and smokestacks filtering into the sky. Wind whispered at them through newly budding trees.

On the opposing corner was an organic food store and what seemed to be a cafe. They ventured down the empty street eyeing straggled hipsters smoking outside the cafe.
 Five minutes was up. Buckley called. Luckily, their man answered. He would be down in a minute. They went back to the brick building built on the subway station and waited ten minutes. First thing you learn is you always gotta wait.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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