The world’s a wicked place. It’s hard to say, and more difficult to understand. So I tend to have a certain respect for the true cynic. The person with the eyes that droop low, and a soul that rests under the sewers.
In their chaotic and unpredictable nature, the cynics exist in your life as quickly as they disappear. Their function is short and sweet, but poignant and crippling.
He was no different. Walking with his eyes half closed and his mind completely numb. It doesn’t take a genius to notice a man on enough drugs to tranquilize an elephant.
I was smoking my cigarette outside the train station. He walked by me, shoulders hunched forward, and his legs dragging. Everyone stayed out of his way, dodged his eyes. He looked towards me, and I nodded at him, looked him right in the eyes.
He nodded back, and I noticed how sweet his eyes were. The kind of eyes that’d make you feel like the universe was built inside them. I was done with my cigarette, so I chucked it and walked up to him. It didn’t take much effort. He was slow and sluggish and I still had my youth going on for me. I ended up walking beside him. I popped out my ear phones and said ‘Hi’.
“Assholes.” he said, in the thickest Dutch accent I’ve come across.
“Who is? ” I asked him.
He waved his arms pointing at everyone in the framing of his eye sight.
“Everyone. Look at them walking around thinking they’re better than each other”
I nodded and walked about with him, not that any of us had anything better to do. We talked about drugs, cops and women for a while. The more I spoke to him, the more of myself I saw. It scared me.
Things went silent for a while. I tried to take all of it in. Then I saw the tattoo on his hand. A triangle with three dots in it.
“Assholes.” he repeated.
I threw my head back and laughed. It took me by surprise.
“how long did you spend inside? ” I asked, pointing at his tattoo.
People tell you jail is only two days. The day you go in, and the one you get out. It’s bullshit. A few cops passed by us, and his cigarette was in his mouth, unlit, resting on his lip.
Just as they passed us by, inside the train station that was plastered with ‘No Smoking.’ signs, he lit his cigarette, looking them straight in the face.
They did nothing.
“Assholes.” he said.
“Fucking gangsters in blue.” I said.
I didn’t get his name. Nor did he get mine. But we got the gist of each other. We shook hands, and I took one last look at his eyes through his drooping eyes.
How the world can be so ugly to those beautiful eyes is lost on me.