The Hour

The Hour
– Michael Lind

Maybe the moment recurs daily at six, when commuters,
freed from the staring computers,
elbow and bump in unsought intimacy on a station
platform with you, and frustration
rots what is left of your strength. Maybe the hour comes after
dinner, when televised laughter
seeps from a neighboring room; maybe the time is the dead of
night, when you ponder, instead of
dreaming. Whatever the time, you will escape it—by sinking
down with a book, or by drinking
secretly out in the dark studio, or by unbuckling
pants on a stranger, or chuckling,
one with a mob, in a deep theater. Soon, though, the hour
comes to corrode all your power,
pleasure and faith with the damp dread that it daily assigns you.
How you evade it defines you.

I spent an evening on a train station platform last week with close company. Good close company. It was company that sought me out at my request. It warmed my fingertips, exercised my wits and touched me with an affectionate, inquisitive stroke on the back of my hand.

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