Colonel Ryan J. Arlington and Prince Ephraim Gregory Nicholas Romanov Rasputin Moscovitch
The downtown 1 train rumbled and slowed to a halt at 42nd St. in the middle of hurricane human. The doors rung 'bling blong' and opened, releasing a stream of rushing people. Everyone shuffled out and about, transferring to other trains or tightening their coats on their way to the outside cold. Everyone was hurried, on a mission of the utmost importance, as usual. The train's doors rung 'blong bling' and closed. And as the train clicked down the tunnel and people went on their way, the station quieted and two youngsters drumming on buckets could be heard more clearly. The drummers were spinning their drumsticks and rapping on their buckets at a hundred and eighty beats per minute. A few people gathered around them, the beat transporting them away like a train, only inside. When the downtown 1 left the station it swirled behind a windy vacuum, coats fluttered, hair waved and garbage tumbled. Everything was moving. The people waiting for the uptown 1 were pacing to keep warm, the drummers were flowing, everything and everyone was moving, everyone except for Sean Enstitue.
Sean Enstitue was leaning up against the last pillar at the downtown end of the platform waiting for the uptown 1. His hands were nestled in his black leather goose-down bomber and his left foot was propped up, resting on the pillar. He was wearing black sneakers, black slacks and a white tee-shirt under his black leather bomber and unaffected by the cold. His clothing was too stiff and heavy to flutter in the gust left by the train and his hair was too short to measure let alone be stirred. He stared straight ahead watching the drummers and observing the commuters with a scowl.
From a distance Sean Enstitue appeared removed and unreadable, but on closer inspection there was anger about him. Normally if not overtly angry or outright jovial, depending on the company, there was that recognizable hint of disdain about him, but today it was obvious from his occasional spitting and muffled cursing to himself that he was infuriated with the world and all its human occupants, at least the nine million directly around and above him. The longer he waited for the train the more tense his lips were and the more piercing his eyes became. After the day Sean had, he felt like everything in society was wrong and demeaning to the very core and wondered what the point of it all was when everyone around him was missing the point.
The day started out fine, but he was unexpectedly called on to go downtown, for work, on short notice. Sean usually liked to mentally prepare himself to go downtown, say across 110th St., but today he went from the 215th Street Station to Times Square without making the usual mental preparations to keep himself from snapping. And because he was rushed and didn't prepare he hadn't even considered what time of year it was and what that meant as far as who would be on the streets, yelling and screaming and pushing Sean's buttons. Sean left uptown unprepared. He fully realized what would be the usual insulting executive chaos and suburbanites on shopping sprees, but because he didn't have time to prepare, he hadn't properly considered that it was just after Thanksgiving. He didn't think about the fact that this meant there would be a Santa Claus begging for change for some corporate charity, with an obnoxious dinging bell, yelling HoHos, clogging up traffic, on every other corner between 34th and 59th St., until he got off the train and was face to face-to-face with one.
There was nothing Sean hated more than Santa Claus. And there was no problem in the postmodern world that Sean couldn't directly trace back to the celebration and indoctrination of lying to children, about Santa and otherwise.