Voices on the Wind Obscure Voices
All Day Pass by David Chorlton The ride is smooth and clean to the end of the route and back while the ticket lets me ride all day watching the city glide by with passengers who sit, many lost in a digital square, each receiving information from a different star, including the oriental lady leaning forward to ask what the words mean on the song sheet from a Catholic service she has just attended. Without their tunes they mean as little as the sounds she makes, which fall between her language and the one spoken here by the young man telling his girlfriend about a recent encounter when I called her a bitch and a slut and she did nothing about it, but a hooded man lets his appearance speak for him and heís tattooed on every part thatís visible: hands, neck, and his face which is inked solid, so dark that the whites of his eyes spread panic when he opens them about the time we reach the first industrial zone. The second runs for blocks with empty space, cheap motels and graffiti on walls with nothing behind them, plus a sign that says No Trespassing, as if anyone would want to cross the razor wire gleaming in the sun. The easternmost stop is next to parking lots and empty ground where pigeons scratch a living among broken glass, a pair of black dress trousers mysteriously discarded, and a shopping cart adrift. Heading back west the seats fill soon. A man dripping chains and glitter from his neck takes off his sweat shirt to reveal his decorated arms, and keeps beside him on the seat a Holy Bible with a cover in maroon that matches the T-shirt another rider wears, whose ears are stretched beyond nature to accommodate metal rings, while yet another displays his Lord and Savior, clumsily drawn on his biceps. There is so much emphasis on salvation here, that the girl whose mother dyes her hair the color of her clothes brings cheer to our passing through the shade the downtown high rise buildings cast when she sits drawing a horse leaping over water, smiling like the fishes who break the surface just to watch. To finish will take her to the final station, where itís somebodyís job to wear a yellow vest, to sweep and to spray and to gather the wrappers and cups marking journeyís end.