Death at W4th

Death waits on the other side of the turnstile on W4th street station.

He stands, unnoticed, off to the side, a cotton hoodie over his face, dark sunglasses over his eyes, his face downcast. He holds a long metal cane and leans on a cart full of garbage bags. I’ve never seen him say a word. Never smile. Never move.

The people bustle around him, never touching him. He seems not to notice.

Everyday, on my way to work, I see him waiting there.

A few days ago, a man in a Grim Reaper costume was handing out flyers for a Halloween store. He stood on the other side of the exit staircase and blithely passed out neon pieces of paper. I was startled when I saw the blatant breach in protocol. Shouldn’t there only be one death at a station at a time?

The real Death stood staring at the fake death.

In respect I stayed clear of fake death, refusing his flyers and hurrying on.

The next day, fake death was gone, and real Death was back at his post once more.

He’s always waiting at W4th street station.



October 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm by Natalie Allen