The Secret Confidant

She had long thick eyelashes pasted above her eyes, and bright

rouge smeared on her lips, but she was still too old. She sat there
alone. Her hair reminded me of a water buffalo’s horns with a large
part in the middle. It sprouted from the left and right of her head
and hanged lifelessly over her white skin. She talked, laughed, and
even argued with no apparent person. Whenever she suspected that
the other passengers knew – she would throw a cold stare at their faces,
as if to insure herself that they didn’t know her secret nor her
predicament; and having satisfied herself that her secret confidant was
safe, she would continue in her loneliness talking and laughing, while
the rest of the passengers secretly stared. Passengers came in and
others went out, as the train they called the “L” moved along its
designated route, stopping and going, stopping and going. Finally,
she sat still, carefully looked around, and then, moved to another seat
near her. She took out a plastic compact from her purse, opened it,
gazed into her image, very intricately twisted her legs, stuck out her
tongue to the side, and began coloring in her face again. The rest of
the passengers simply moved their heads synchronistically from side
to side, in a fast even tempo, as the train roared over its crooked
tracks toward the Loop.

The Secret Confidant

Alejandro  Valle

Pueblo West, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 2

Artist's Description

A passing moment in a Chicago train, and yet not a forgotten one.

Artwork Comments

  • Dorothy Venter
  • Lea Wells
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