A joke where a priest, a rabbi, and Ayn Rand are waiting for a bus? A literal orgy of capitalism? The Rough Beast driving to Bethlehem in 4WD? I give up.
I’ve had a little bit of Blog block for the past month, because I came across a writer’s challenge that I’m unequal to.
I was in Thirtieth Street Station in Philadelphia, waiting to change trains on my way home at about 6:30PM. The station is a huge, lofty, echoing space, built to inspire awe and lined with frescoes depicting allegorical Important Moments in Transportation. Huge vinyl banners hang from the walls — sometimes welcoming a pharmaceutical conference to town, sometimes advertising SUVs. This night, it’s the latter. There’s a picture of a big silver SUV on a patch of arctic tundra, below the twelve-foot legend “Our Forefathers Didn’t Fight So You Could Spend the Weekend in Traffic.”
That’s enough for an entry right there, but then, loud music started booming out of the north waiting room, a marble-lined, echo-ey vault that was, this night, lined with rows of empty white wood chairs and partially screened with black cloth. A fashion show was rehearsing, and the models walked up the middle of the room, paused sulkily, then turned and walked back, disappearing through a door under a multi-ton bas-relief depiction of nymphs in blowing gowns taming wild oxen with electric whips. All the models’ hair was in curlers, all were wearing lingerie, and all of them were in advanced stages of pregnancy. I’m sure that, as a runway model, you don’t get much practice traversing a catwalk in heels while great with child; nobody looked like they were about to trip, but the baby had an interesting damping effect on the walkers’ sashay, taking the edges off their hip-shoving flounce and softening it into more of a liquid wobbling motion.
On a sofa not twenty feet away, an Amish family (Amish families often take my train, as many commute to the farmers’ markets in the city) sat and smiled unsurprisedly at the tall, thin women in the five-inch heels and the see-through purple marabou capelets.
I mean, christ, E. B. White would have been able to make something of that paean to… whatever it is, but I don’t even have a chance. So this Blog entry has been choking up the plumbing for the past month, as I try to figure out how it all fits together. Too damn bad, I give up. Phew, that’s a relief.