Woman Sleeping

May 25, 2007

It’s a little after 7:00 and everyone is a little dreary-lidded, me included. A woman snoozes on the station bench – heavy boots, red sweater. I turn on the ‘phones and cue up some Dylan (a morning ritual). She’s hugging her backpack very tightly and her head is askew. Such peace in her. It’s kind of baffling, actually. Ten minutes go by and she doesn’t move. I think, just for a moment, that maybe she has died right there on the platform. Surely someone would have noticed. Odd that a person could get any sleep with the morning bustle all around. Then again, maybe she’s not asleep. Maybe she’s just resting purposefully. I walk by her and cough, just to see if she is as sound as she appears. Not a single move save her light breathing, which I just then notice. Icksnay on the dead hypothesis. Finally I see my bus come down the pipe. Sleeping girl has not stirred. I consider waking her. If I fell asleep in the bus station, I’d want someone to wake me. But I don’t do anything. She’s at peace and there’s no sense disrupting that. I hop my bus. As I pull away from the station I see that the young woman is still sleeping. Motionless as a stone painter’s hand. Desolation Row cues up and I lean my head against the window. Catch a few winks before work.

Vignette #198

3 reader comments (closed)

1

Thomas

Mike,
This is stunningly beautiful! I can see it and with the hints at music, feel it so well! A brilliant, complete, vignette.
I need to add a separate link to StreetRag. I’ll do it later today.

May 25, 2007 • 10:45

2

tom

Maybe she was up all night with a sick baby ? Or a husband who never came home ?

One never knows the true story. We can only imagine.

May 25, 2007 • 23:58

3

Gravel

Very true. You never know the whole story, and that’s quite a powerful lesson in my opinion. It’s really easy to judge someone based on little or no information. Truth is, we merely catch glimpses of each other. We’ll never know each other’s full stories. It’s the “heart of the ache” as Neruda once said.

May 28, 2007 • 09:17

Red Swirl, Kasbar Lounge Edmonton, May 2007

Red Swirl, Kasbar Lounge Edmonton, May 2007

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StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.

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