“There’s another crackle over the loudspeaker, and this time it comes through clearly.” by Ariel N Kates

January 5, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen we appreciate your patience at this time. If you’re not already in the car with the marching band, please step aside out of courtesy, as they will be making their way up and down the train for your enjoyment, slaloming in and out of the doors, playing punk versions of Stand By Me, Wind Beneath my Wings, and other hits of falling or flying. Ladies and gentlemen I have been informed of the conditions outside, which have taken a sudden and immediate turn for the worse. I have been told that it’s hailing fire. But please note that if we ever do make it back above ground, the last of the city will be to your right, as seen through the cables of the bridge over the river. We say of the city that she is a flame which is the same chemical as her flesh. Ladies and gentlemen please be aware that needing to write does not qualify as reason for a Good Samaritan to give you a seat. Gentlemen, I hope you’re secretly enjoying the close touching of each other’s thighs as you nap in your suits. Ladies and gentlemen is an unnecessary fucking binary. Good morning, please take note of the screaming leopards on your neighbor’s sweater. Please keep your filthy hands to yourselves. Please sanitize yourself with fire. Ladies and gentleman, oh gosh, I mean: Good afternoon, metallics are so in right now. No falling. Teetering may be acceptable as long as you have a paramour on the train to hold on to. But please remember that a crowd is not an excuse for unwanted or wanted sexual contact. I know. Good evening, please note that this train will begin levitating at the next stop and the effort will create staggering heat; if you begin to feel sunburnt please remember that the Transit Authority aims to provide the best possible service for its passengers, and if you need to, you can use an emergency call box at the next station. Please note, um passengers of all genders, that my crackling radio has informed me that it continues to hail fire. In fact, as evidenced by the end of the crackles, I now believe that, as we are in this train, we are the last people alive on this planet. I would like to amend some of the things that I may have previously said, um folks. As regards to contact, please imagine that someday you’ll have to give birth on the train. If you’re carrying pie, please share. Dear lovely people, happy rush hour. It seems that we’ve missed the best, most explosive sunset in history. Thank you for your patience.


Ariel_Kates_headshotAriel N Kates lives in Brooklyn. She has an MFA from The New School, and works for the queer Jews doing nonprofit administration in New York City.

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