A connection was made between us. I felt it. I know she felt it too.
Take me away from the hardness, the bitter winters, the brutal summers, the endless Sundays in a crowded, sweltering shanty on a thick, brittle slab of grayed wood, fanning myself to keep from swooning. Save me from the screams and agony of childbirth too soon, too often, too hard. Deliver me from the labor, the hours under hot sun or bitter cold, working blood from my hands on hard, worn, splintering tool handles and behind machines or animals or men, sweating like a beast of burden, slaving away to eke out a meager existence in a hard place.
I heard it, saw her lips move. Didn’t I? Maybe she didn’t speak it, and it’s a secret passed between us along the line, the pipeline, of the connection.
My gaze stayed fixed on her as they turned, passed through the automatic doors and headed for the escalators at the center of the station between the north and south platform concourses. I saw her muscular form, graceful and strong, powerful and lithe, a panther disguised by the clothes trying to make the exquisite plain, the beautiful ordinary, the majestic normal. They can’t, they don’t. Her sensuality oozed out of her, across the tile floor, up my legs and seized me, first by the libido, then by the heart, then by the spine and I must follow, push off from the wall I’m leaning on with my shoulder in a single snap of my scapula and move, predator quiet and smooth.
I kept them in sight, but many stood between us. She moved subtle and soft, but her hips swung seductive and hypnotic beneath the ankle-length skirt with no pleats, two large pockets and a belt. They stopped in the center, near the escalator, and the man checked his map. He studied it with wrinkled brow, his bushy caterpillars drawn together over his eyes, and scanned the area again.
I kept moving, drawing nearer, then stepped to my right into a newsstand when they turned back my way. She didn’t acknowledge me, but I know she knew. She knew I followed. She knew I heard it — the plea, her message to me on the connection. I know she knew it. I could sense it in her as she stood, huddled close to the backs of their men, waiting to be led, to be guided.