A strong breeze cut through the intense humidity, the sour tang of urine coupled with the briny scent of people standing in unnatural intimate closeness. The air had an electric current to it. A glance at the ominous sky showcased blackish gray clouds abruptly cut off by buildings. Shiny exteriors, mirrors for neon lights from the surrounding hotels and condos, bounced off the panes like icicles catching the light.
Throwing the end of my white and pink scarf over my shoulders, I drew my arms in close. Instinctively, vertical lines of people huddled together on the concrete platform. We shifted together as one. Cutesy pings, bright greens, pinks, and blues shadowed the supple skin of the young as fingers moved rapidly across screens. Others stood, lips pursed and pouting as phones held at arm’s length angled this way and that.
A glance at the digital clock showed two minutes in English and then Thai.
Buzz. Buzz. Placing the finger of my left hand into the paperback, I dug into my purse with my right. Fingertips laced themselves around a rectangular smoothness with plexiglass screen. Suddenly, the world changed color.
Whip, whip, whip. Brown, black, and blonde wrapped around faces as, “Ah’s” echoed across the cavernous airplane-hanger space of the Airport Link built for twenty cars but only servicing two at a time.
Thp, thp, thp. Hair stuck to my lips, teeth, and tongue. “Argh.” With several swipes, I swept my hair into a ponytail held loosely with an over-stretched hair elastic.
The middle and forefingers of my right hand clamped the edges of my mobile and in one swoop, the phone was in my palm. Swipe. Click. Ping. Wait. White filled the screen.
“See my car?” The message read. A photo of an SUV-like shape covered in a mountain of fresh snow filled the screen.
Buzz. I check my phone.
“And we’re due for another foot and half by tomorrow. Don’t you miss this?” Katy’s text bubble glows bright blue.
Thinking back to our times as children, my sister Katy in purple, and I in a hunter-green, our full-length snowsuit shielding our tiny bodies, we stumbled out of the warm house and into frozen air, hot breath turning white. Bouncing across the frozen whiteness, we felt like astronauts, wrapped in air-tight suits, the first to make fresh steps in snow.
Whack. Pff. Pink skin turned red, the scratchiness of my wool glove cleared the cold wetness from my eyes. Katy’s aim has always been impeccable; mine, not so much. Scooping a handful of snow into a lumpy ball, I threw it. Arcing through the air like a defunct grenade, it landed with a soft, crumbly pffI, feet from Katy who hadn’t moved an inch.
Then, whack. The colors of the field melded together, a blur of reds, purple, green, and white. Eyes crossed and uncrossed. My body swayed before hurtling itself forward.
Flap. Whack. Flap. Whack. Nylon thighs of green slapped together in a quickening rhythm.
“Argh!” I yelled as feet left the earth, limbs flying.
Ring. Ring. The electronic sound of a bell brings be back to the platform. Glancing down the track, a spaceship-like tube slowly approaches, the crowd moving as one to the yellow line.
In British English: “Please stand clear of the yellow line. The train is approaching.”
Then in Thai, “Thn ni rthfi kảlạng k̄hêā kha,” meaning, “You go here please.”
Crash. Heads turn in time to see the sheets of rain crash into the tops of buildings, temples, and trees. The sound of screams heard from the streets below. Wind whips hair and clothes, the humidity momentarily gone.
Stepping onto the train, uncontrolled frigid air causes goose pimples to appear on flesh. Looking at the photo of the SUV buried in the snow, I smile and remember.
The angel imprint of an eight-year old child indents the powder.
Red dots the snow where an elbow made contact with a mouth. A baby tooth sticks out of the frozenness like an RIP.
I type, “No thanks. I’ll take the tropics any day,” I say, running my tongue across my teeth, remembering the spot where my six-year old sister punched out my tooth with her impeccable aim.
Any grammar and mechanical issues are the responsibility of the author, and even though she’s an English teacher and does proofread, there may be some errors