Apple Season

by Amy Turn Sharp


1. When I walk in very crowded spaces I can always feel the heart beats around me. They drum towards me and I count them. The city ground is pounded over and over from fancy feet and dream joggers and I can't not hear it like sirens. The sound of all of the people. You can't tell me that I don't hear it, just like I can only guess that there are voices inside of your mind that scream over and over the same three words.

I want that.

 

2. This man on the train begins to bathe himself in hand sanitizer. It is the kid branded version that has tiny flecks of red and gold and the scent is something familiar. I catch whiffs of Juicy Fruit or Hubba Bubba bubble gum memory recall. And he just keeps squeezing a small amount of it in the palm of his hand and smoothing the liquid all over his arms. Up and down.

He looks completely normal and is dressed like anyone else. Casual. Fit. Nearly handsome. But his eyes give something away. I sneak looks at him, snatch catch a quick ride into someplace dark. Quirky. Dreary. Wet.

He keeps moving his hands up and down, erasing the imaginary germs.And he catches me looking in his eyes. His eyes are brown. My eyes are green. We muddle together for a moment and in the secret language of madness I tell him in rhythmic blinks of Morse Code clarity that everything is OK. Everything is fine. Not all of us have our different on the outside. Some of us would have the entire train staring, pulling away.

Changing seats.

If they could see inside minds.

3. A beautiful girl in a car tells me that she is planning her wedding. We are on the Brooklyn Bridge high in the air over steel and water. I pretend that our car is flying backwards in time. My hair grows long like her hair. My eyes somehow brighten. My hips narrow. Our car is flying backwards to a place where I had yet to know the enormous capacity of the human heart. Back to when I could not imagine what might fill it someday.

We sink back in the deep leather seats and the moon makes our teeth look like milk.

The bridge becomes a moment we remember in the future.