The 6:58 a.m. train
from Jamaica, Queens
, Long Island
There is actually a sign near the Jamaica train station (Sutphin Blvd.
and Archer Ave.
) that reads "Jamaica Industrial Zone
". The sign is surrounded by tens of ramshackle, uninhabited grey buildings, probably warehouse
s. Also, an outdoor plant at which a machine can be seen churning some sort of slag
. Incidentally, the plant is not visible from the street. As such, it is
visible from the train track.
Within a radius of a few blocks there is a livestock market
- possibly a vibrant point of life at a less god-forsaken hour
, but at 6:58 the only movement to be seen is the arm of the above-mentioned machine, rising and falling in a huge tub of grey matter. Grey
buildings, grey slag, grey streets, grey sky- before sunrise
everything is grey. In the right mood the monochrome
, if in nothing else than the ambiguity
of its everpresent sentiment.
And then by 7:20 I am in nouveau riche Hewlett Bay Park, where the teenagers I pass carry around purple or green or blue heads of hair in a laughable attempt to look urban.