Had to document a moment Steven and I had the other day, taking the D train to Green-Wood cemetery. We sat down in the train car, our light conversation gradually taking on the weight of reflection when we started reading the advertisements posted throughout the car: A cancer research facility’s marketing campaign stating things like “There will not be one cure for Cancer, there will be millions” and “More Science, Less Fear.”
Given these cues and the fact that we were on our way straight into the heart of the biggest cemetery in the city, it seemed natural to feel a little somber. But the conversation between Steven and I about mortality, about the desparately unfair condition of being highly intelligent, sentient beings in rapidly decaying physical form and about the chasm of question and hope in each of us about an afterlife, especially where our little, vulnerable but fierce love & happy life together was concerned, left us in a wistful silence, both staring at our hands clasped together, looking like one being, I thought… one frightened being. And as he does so well, Steven made the silence & the sadness dissipate with a brilliant: “Shit gets real on the D train.” We both laughed.
As the train came to a stop at 36th St, where the subway tunnel was literally flush with the cemetery’s belly, I said: “That was strange, though. Maybe we’re one of thousands of couples who have experienced acute existential angst or panic on the D train. Maybe this is a phenomenon to do with all the residual energy of the people buried here! ….. But yea. That was very Sartre-esque.”
"Yea, *very* Sartre." Steven agreed. We stepped off onto the platform. I looked one way… "That says 3rd ave," I said "What does the other side say?"
We looked behind us. The sign said “No Exit.” … Perfect. Too good.
We looked at each other and laughed, standing far too long in the middle of the platform before ascending the stairs into the afternoon light.
No Exit indeed.