Someone different

On the train I see a vine grow from a woman’s eye, well not her eye, actually her tear-duct, it sprouts like a tear, bright green, unfurls down her cheek, I’m not sure she’s aware of it but the guy sitting next to her shifts away a little, she is opposite me and her eyes are grey as she looks out the window and her eyes sparkle in the sunlight wet with unshed tears but the vine grows and the man coughs and he exchanges a glance with me, the way you do when you’re normal and someone different walks by someone different does something different in public and you’re not sure if it’s an emergency and you should call the ambulance, is it an emergency when a plant starts growing from a person’s eye and they don’t seem to notice, I don’t think it is maybe it’s embarrassing and you should politely pretend not to notice like an undone fly or food stuck in someone’s teeth, but I’d always prefer people told me, so is it rude like manspreading or listening to music too loud, or PDAs I hate PDAs people should get a room but I don’t think a beautiful vine cascading down a woman’s face is offensive but I wonder does it hurt, why can’t she feel it, she’s just staring out the window watching the graffitied backs of buildings and it’s like stop-motion because it’s growing so fast and I think I should say something but the train is stopping and the man is getting up and he shakes his head and coughs again and I can’t seem to look away and she’s sitting in her own private garden, the vine unspools around her feet, she’s half-hidden by leaves but I can still see her grey sparkly eyes and this is my stop and I say nothing, get up, get off, and stand on the platform to watch her as the train starts to move, a woman growing a plant from her eye, and I wish I’d said something but what do you say to someone like that?


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