Train Station Musings
Micro-Memoir by Naythen T. Lowe
Many people don’t think about how the bus station truly affects our society. In fact, I dare say not many people give a second thought about how important the bus station truly is. And it is through this author’s opinion that the bus station is truly one of the most important and spiritual places on Earth. Specifically, the Red Line bus station within Harvard Square. But no doubt there are other stations around the world that are truly magnificent. For it is within this Red Line station in Harvard square that our story takes place.
This day, the 72 bus to Huron Avenue was running particularly late. Thinking about how
late he’ll be for dinner, Naythen started to point out the number of people within the station. Some were the usual high school students on their way home, families on their way to cook dinner themselves, and people out about planning a fun Friday night. And of course, the usual suspects of homeless people that love to make the station their housing and sleep quarters.
Naythen was accustomed to the vagrants around Harvard and even assigned little nicknames for each of them. A fellow with cerebral palsy that liked to walk around the station was sometimes nicknamed as “Stumpy”. There was “Eric Paris”, a Frenchie who had a particular eye for eclectic bibliographies. Then there was “One Eye Jack” – the ex-marine who had a missing eye. If there’s one thing you can learn about Naythen’s naming process is that, at the time, it was exceptionally rude and not that clever. Can you blame a 14-year-old for his lack of vernacular awareness?
Suddenly, Naythen felt a chilling air purveying throughout the bus station. He found himself confused because the familiarity of the bus station environment had just shifted significantly. Looking around the bus station, Naythen found no suspects to pinpoint this shift in the air. It was here that he suddenly realized what loud ticking sound was being made. As if coming from a large grandfather clock, the ticking sensation almost echoed throughout the station. It was here Naythen discovered the old man.
What Naythen saw he can only describe was a mirage as a homeless man: a shopping cart filled with miscellaneous findings, raggedy clothing, and a disgruntled face hidden behind a barrage of tangled and unkempt hair. If there was one thing Naythen had noticed from this old man: there was a constant muttering that seemed to synchronize with the ticking of the clocks.
“No more”, said the old man.
Naythen noticed characteristics about this man as he came further down the station hallway. His shoes were dilapidated and unbuckled Doc Martens – but they also looked as if they might be legitimate military issue boots. He had shiny medallions and decorative award pins on his coat lapels that jingled when he walked. And he was pushing along an exceptionally large number of clocks in a discount shopping bin. Clocks of various size, colors, and mechanical workings. Naythen found that all the clocks, no matter how ravaged or how beaten they looked, ticked louder than such one he had ever heard before. As the old man gradually passed him, he heard the mumbling of those two words that became etched in his mind.
“No more. No more. No more.”
Naythen began to wonder what exactly this man's story was. What decisions led to this man becoming who he was today? How does someone end up in a similar situation as this? Naythen wondered how he could prevent himself from ending up in this situation. However, he began to think: what if something like this is inevitable for just about anyone? You come into to this world, you pay your debts, you live your life, you fight the good fights, and love whoever loves you. But then, you end up pushing a cart full of clocks down a bus station hallway muttering to yourself inconsequential dribble. Perhaps this is an inescapable fate for some. Naythen began to think about what his fate will bring. But before he could think about anything scarier than this, he decided to accept whatever comes to him.
10 more minutes till the bus comes. Hope dinner is still warm, Naythen thinks.
Naythen T. Lowe is a Diné aspiring filmmaker based in-between the Southwest and New England. He’s currently going after his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Growing up in Tucson, AZ, Naythen’s interests mainly revolved around films and the art of cinematic storytelling. When at age 12, Lowe decided to pursue filmmaking as a career path based on his accumulated years of film knowledge and true passion for cinema. He found the Community Art Center in Cambridge, MA, and joined the Teen Media Program – where he became one of the official videographers, editors, producers, and judges for the “Do It Your Damn Self!!!” Film Festival. It was after working there for over five years that Lowe discovered IAIA, where he is currently honing his craft with film direction, screenwriting, cinematography, and editing in producing his own short films.