(Thursday, 3rd April 2014)
It was the middle of the morning rush hour. My wife and I were on the F train, holding onto a steel pole, warmed and clammied by prior hands. We didn’t see her at first, sitting in her corner seat in the old-fashioned subway car, but once the voice began to spool, and would not stop: oh, we noticed her. Everyone did.
Watch out for the Sicilian connection, the pizza connection. If Hispanic, they like little blonde girls, but they like blond boys too. Watch for Sicilian forkover. This train goes to Forest Hills. Forest Hills is unbelievable. Because of them. Al Dente. That’s the name of a restaurant there too. Watch out for bits of glass in the pizza. Roach. Rat poison if they don’t like you. Watch out for Captain Luis T. Minetti. Even though they’re retired, they can still be active. They’re at the post office too. Sicilian forkover. Watch out. Supposedly, they went to Stella Maris High School. St. Joseph’s. Watch out for those innocent-sounding names. St. Joseph’s Secretarial School for Women, Brooklyn, Assumpta, automatically excommunicated Sicilian. If you see those last names, there’s the bower fret. Watch out for them on trains. They don’t have to be Sicilian. They hire. Watch out for him. He could ride this F train this very morning. He doesn’t deny it. He got on at the last stop. They like unshaven stuff. Watch out for Apple Bank. I may not work there, but I have an account there. A hood is a hood. Dark glasses. Why’s he wearing dark glasses? Have my ears cut off and real pigs’ ears put on. We’re Sicilian forkover. Don’t use Santini Moving and Storage. Supposedly the police told them, you’ve got too many get rid of them. I’ve a Jew from the Germany of identity theft. Emigrant Savings Bank. Some you may know the word Kow Tow. It’s really more than a bow. Don’t think that they’re OK because they read books. Things aren’t necessarily fresh. Some open at five. It’s tax time. My taxes are in. I’ve already complained to my congressman. I like my congressman. He has aides supposedly to help him. One of them wrote a biography of him without his birthday. My clever congressman. They use my stolen medicare card. They don’t pay attention to the announcements, “No electronic devices displayed. [She was commenting on people looking at their smart phones] Watch out for Mr. Click, there. [That was me, trying to record her.]
When I gave a sidelong glance (she was a cross-eyed old lady with white hair, in a long black dress and hooded black coat — noting that although cross-eyed, she saw the people around her with great sharpness, and inserted into her running commentary chillingly specific comments in quavering witch emphasis: “look at her. She’s reading. Look at him, looking at his electronic device.”—when I snatched a glance at her, she invariably noticed: “oh, he’s got a beard. And a plaid shirt, too, on his way to work. Obviously not making much money, is he?”), my wife would hiss, “stop looking at her!” But the sinkhole of paranoia she was generating was irresistible.