A couple gets on the L train.
They get on at one of the more illustrious stops, Lorimer Street or Bedford Avenue. They are both short-ish. He is extremely handsome in a dark and brooding way, but his skin is sallow, unhealthy looking, and his hair is lank, falling into his face. He looks like an aspiring rock star who needs a day frolicking in a sunny meadow. She is blond and tiny. Her face, from what I can see, has this elfin quality that I associate with the women in John Currin's paintings. Her skin, if it were healthier, would be what used to be called 'peaches and cream'. She has a tiny, upturned nose.
**When I say that this couple has unhealthy skin, I'm not talking about acne. I'm talking about looking like they've been shut up in a garret in Williamsburg living out something intense and deep, a la Ingmar Bergman. This is a popular look on the L train.**
So I study them in my surreptitious way.
Have they just had a fight? He, at least, seems in a state of some emotion. Her back is to me; he is facing me. They are sharing a pole, and he is gazing devotedly into her eyes, never stopping for an instant, but keeping his face in hers. His hand, with its long fingers, runs between her shoulder blades and draws her closely to him. After a few minutes of this romance he takes an i-pod out of his bag. He puts one ear-piece in her ear and one in his own. He kisses her. The romance continues.
I don't remember where they get off.
Watching them is almost too much. I get to a point that I can't take it anymore. It isn't that its disgusting-this public display of affection. Its that, for all their seeming affectedness, its almost too beautiful, really, this young love. And me thinking this makes me wonder: am I getting old?
I turn away and look at something else.