Friday, February 19, 2010

Enrico, or: What is Wrong With Me?

Tonight I sat down to wait for a blue line train at Rosslyn, then looked over on the bench and noticed that someone had left a glove behind. It was all by itself, looking like it was waiting for the train too, and all of a sudden I felt really, really sad.

I remembered a catastrophic winter day that happened years and years ago, when I was maybe six. I was in the Shenandoah Valley, standing on an old bridge with my favorite pair of red choo-choo train mittens, when I leaned over and accidentally dropped one into the creek below.

I wailed and wailed as I watched what I considered a beloved friend eddy away from me forever. My poor parents felt so bad for me that they actually drove me to the local river the creek fed into. We stood there for like fifteen minutes, watching the water rush by, hoping to catch a glimpse of red. No dice. This was a bridge near my family's old hunting cabin in the forest, and every time I've been down to the creek since, I've instinctively looked around for a rotting little red mitten.

The glove on the bench was nothing like the one I lost. It was a man's glove, black, but it looked sad too, like it hadn't wanted to be left behind.

That's when I realized that this was cuckoo and I should stop anthropomorphizing everything. I turned away. I started playing Vortex on my iPod. I glanced up at the LED sign to see when the Franconia train was coming. Four minutes, three minutes, two, the lights began to blink, I got up. The doors opened. I grabbed the glove and stuffed it in my purse and jumped on.

I don't know why I did it. Now I have this weird glove in my house. I named it Enrico; it smells like cigarettes and cologne and something else--bad soap, I think. Hopefully not crack. Right after I got on the train, I felt this ooh-I'm-quirky rush, like I was a French movie heroine and the glove and I were embarking on the first of a series of great adventures. But actually, I think I'm so freaked out about the possibility of anyone or anything I encounter feeling lonely or sad that I will actually take it to the point of bringing a rank glove home with me. Yech.

Well, welcome aboard, Enrico.

1 comment:

  1. Two points.
    a) That glove appears to be grey.
    b) Have you considered that the glove owner may come back looking for Enrico? Thanks to you, Enrica (or, possibly, Alfredo) may spend eternity in a series of doomed relationships, seeking an elusive other half. See the speech of Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium.