Mark Podesta - People and Escalators

People and Escalators


Mark Podesta


Far out, across the way, there are sterile white lights, two escalators, one up, one down, and two bodies.  Riding the up escalator, a boy and a girl sit still.  Both look forward.  Both look to the peak.  The girl holds the left railing. The boy holds the right.  The girl stands two steps above the boy.  Both silent, both stoic with backs arched and fingers curled. 

Panning out from the stairs the machine going down moves three times the speed of the other.  No words are spoken, but thoughts run.  The boy’s eyes dart to the corners of his eyelids to avert staring.  Stale air hangs between the girl and boy.  The boy is unaware that they have reached the top. 

The girl steps over the threshold, pauses, and proceeds to walk forward. 

The boy forgets to step off, and his feet hit the spot the stairs escape into the machine.  His shoes are swallowed, and he cannot take a step forward.