Reflection of myself in a subway window on the Red Line, from Central Square in Cambridge to Alewife, where a night bike ride home awaits through a wind chill of minus two.
I've got my dark green cowl on. It used to belong to Matthew. Still has the KIDSOKZ label on it. I wear it on the really cold days under the bike helmet. I could take it off; the subway's warm. But outside it's so rigorously, bonesettingly frigid that there's no desire to do so. Other people in the car have their hoods up. You can't be too warm.
I'm kind of fascinated by my cowled reflection. Dark hair is hidden, so all that's visible is my spectacled face and white beard. I look about seventy, and too tired and chilled to bother with appearances. I feel like I'm in disguise as an old guy. Old Like Me. Even though the me studying the me in the window is deep down the same scrawny kid who used to make faces at himself in another mirror fifty years ago. But the old dude in the window reveals none of that.
Anyway, let the little window today show cowled me, with commentary in the terse bitten-off scriptese of Rod Serling: A young man gets on a train at Central Square, protected from the elements. But the one element he can't protect himself from lies inside the fleece. Namely, time. Next stop: the Twilight Song, as my grandma used to say.