How Women Create Invisible Monsters | San Francisco

How Women Create Invisible Monsters | San Francisco

“Hey,” I said, grasping at the attention of the young woman sitting down waiting for the next train. When she looked up, it became evident that she really wasn’t so young. “You waiting for the next train?”
“Yeah,” she said.
“Did you see when it’s coming?”
 
She thought for a moment.
 
“It should be coming in 5 minutes.”
 
I thought for a moment, long enough to watch as the last train proceeded to move forward into the tunnel, its red taillights becoming lost in the darkness of the cylindrical tube. I let the air pass slowly through my lungs and finally decided to take a seat.
 
“You’ve been waiting long?” I asked.
“I just missed the last train,” she said, “It’s been twenty minutes.”
“That’s awful.”
“It’s okay, it doesn’t seem too crowded.”
“How’s Christmas treating you?”
“It’s fine,” she said, her words tired. “You?”
“It’s good. We spend so much time complaining that Christmas is in October and then all of a sudden it’s four days away.”
 
She lifted her eyebrows, agreeably.
 
“. . . yeah,” she said, sparsely.
“So, where you from? Montana?”
Her left eyebrow went crooked.
“No,” she said, shaking her head.
“Oh. . . so where you from?”
“I’m from here. . .”
 
She took in a deep breath and lifted her purse onto her knees. I looked up at the electronic board which said that the next train was coming in no more than three minutes. I sighed.
 
“What part?” I asked.
“Excuse me,” she said.
As I wasn’t paying attention, she began to stand up, reaching into her purse.
“I have to make a call,” she said.
 
It seemed like particular timing.
 
As she hooked the strap of her purse onto one arm and placed her phone against her ear, I couldn’t help but draw conclusions of skepticism as she began to walk off in another direction. For a split moment, when my mind should have been clouded with the severity of judgment and I would have been fixed on whether or not it was something I said, instead, there was a swelling sad clarity.
 
I don’t talk to much people in San Francisco. You could measure the level of happiness in a city by seeing how its women respond to a few sentences. The comfort level of a woman is the most fragile indicator of a city’s overall happiness. You can’t learn much about a city by observing its men. All men, or the vast majority of them, tend to be simple-minded, insecure, wallowing in desperation, and clinging to the hope that other people will accept them. They tend to be quite oblivious to their surroundings, making them very difficult markers to indicate the threats of reality. Women, in contrast, have to deal with the constant threat of reality so much so that they create invisible demons out of anything, even if that anything consists of a few sentences.
 
On the other hand, the women who dismiss the threats of reality are really quite stupid.
 
On the station intercoms, a voice prompted commuters of the approaching train to the station platforms. I could not find the woman who had sat next to me just a few minutes earlier. She was lost in a crowd, a product of her surroundings leaving only the reflection of a city. It’s not her fault. She had simply stayed in the city for too long. The city attracts a diversity of smiling, wide-eyed, optimistic faces from all over the world, hoping to break out and climb the ladder of industry, break free from their comfortable confines, and enter into the real world. It never takes long for the real world to devour them, surrounding them with reality so much so that they begin to create invisible monsters to accompany actual ones that exist. They’ll chase after people for support and trust until they realize that being such a small speck under such high buildings, such a multitude of scattered people, will eventually leave them where the city wants them: irrelevant.
 
I still like the city. There’s that hope that the possibility of kindness and comfort still exists amongst such a large population of people forced to sit next to each other. In reality, it really just exists somewhere else.

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This story continues here:  Girls Are Right Not To Talk To You In The City

 

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