Toby looked like an old boxer and told stories about playing rhythm guitar for Madonna before she made it big. “She got caught stealing cheese,” he told me. “We went into grab sandwiches and she put a whole wheel of cheese in her bag. When we went outside, the guy stopped her and she acted all offended and wouldn’t open her bag.”
We were seated together waiting for the train to come. There were tall grasses that had broken through the cracks in the concrete on the other side. I was surprised they could grow it was so dry.
“What happened next?” I said.
“Don’t remember,” Toby said.
“What do you mean you don’t remember?”
“I mean I don’t remember. She got caught. What do you want from me?”
That was enough for him. He told his Madonna story. She got caught.
I looked across at the grass, blowing in the late summer breeze. I pictured the seed snuggling into the crack, reaching up for water and pushing its way through cement just to breathe.
Toby always wanted to play the keyboard but said that his fingers were too big so he picked up guitar. I never knew what he meant by that.
“What about the guy?” I said.
“What about the guy? What about the guy? He caught her. That’s all.”
“And the cheese?”
“Dammit, shutup. You think he cared about four bucks worth of cheese?”
“I’m just saying, if he doesn’t care about the cheese, why is he chasing some girl out of his shop?”
“We fight the battles put before us. He didn’t have any oceans to cross. He had cheese.” he said.