The Spot

by Galvin Chapman

photography by Max Deeb

I saw your doppelganger yesterday. Between the smoldering asphalt and fifty feet of stacked bricks that provided both shade and a back rest to your evening pity-party. As I was stuck in downtown traffic, I was struck by whether you had any self-reflection left or if you had given up on that long ago. Maybe, introspection is a novelty, reserved for those who don’t need to worry about eating to stay alive or sleeping in comfort. Your sunken eyes fixated on a spot on the sidewalk. It seemed you hadn’t had enough energy to look anywhere else and that it didn’t bother you or phase you whatsoever that hundreds of feet shuffled past and trampled on the very spot you fixated upon. No eye movement, no reaction. Ever so prevalent was the aroma of apathy, mutually shared by every passerby and you alike.

“The Spot” though grown to mean much more than an arbitrary point in time, space and circumstance, had sparked your daydream. It was the conductor aboard your train of thought and he was hauling ass at top speed through your past. He turned back to you and offered you his half-empty 40oz of malt liguor, an offer you have never refused. He handed you the bottle, wiped his lips with his forearm and turned back to tend to the noisy tracks. Amid all the noise, the conductor screamed (because one must scream under such circumstances), “LOOK, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU! YOUR PROSPECTIVE TRUTH IS QUITE SIMPLY A FUTURE PERSPECTIVE! YOU UNDERSTAND?” I’m not sure if you understood what he meant or if you even heard what he said. Nonetheless, you responded at a normal volume, “That’s fine, sure. I’ll just watch from back here. You just watch the road—or tracks—or whatever it is your job is.” He didn’t hear you. You sat back and watched from back there. You leaned your head up against the headrest in seat A-23 and your head rolled until you were facing out the window of the train. You watched with apathy as your major life events, stories, friends, family, enemies and acquaintances passed by:

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