Johnny America


Sub­way Imitator


On a body-thick sum­mer sub­way ride, I heard a man im­i­tate the sub­way for mon­ey. “The old sub­way cars, they went like this: Beeee-bo,” he said. I stood on my toes and tried to find him over the crowd. “The new ones sound like this: Ba-beeeeep. Make way for the clos­ing doors please!” The beeps sound­ed pret­ty good and he pro­ject­ed well, but the voice scarce­ly re­sem­bled the elec­tron­ic man. The im­i­ta­tor’s segue to his sad life sto­ry was, “But what is­n’t funny…”

In col­lege, my friend Mar­co used to do a per­fect im­pres­sion of the two stac­ca­to beeps an ex­pen­sive car makes when you hit the lock but­ton on your elec­tron­ic key. Mar­co is do­ing well in busi­ness and the sub­way im­i­ta­tor is home­less, prob­a­bly. The les­son: Im­i­tate for the lifestyle you want, not the one you’ve got. Fif­teen min­utes a day, I work on my im­pres­sion of the light squeak of a fine leather chair in con­tact with the body, ice crack­ing in top shelf scotch, a rais­ing lim­ou­sine par­ti­tion, the soft moan of a woman so beau­ti­ful she needs on­ly con­sid­er her own pleasure.

Filed under Fiction on December 15th, 2008

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Reader Comments

Boomer wrote:

Very nice. Maybe I should start im­i­tat­ing Gabe Durham.

Sylvia wrote:

Gabe Durham is­n’t a re­al per­son. He’s Derek Grey’s lat­est pen-name. There’s on­ly one writer on John­ny Amer­i­ca: DEREK! The Asians, the guy from In­dia – all fake. Derek is it. So don’t both­er sub­mit­ting any­thing to that cheat­ing fuck­er. FUCKER! I mean it.

Jay Holley wrote:

Fi­nal­ly, John­ny Amer­i­ca has hit the tip­ping point where con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists start tak­ing notice.

Sylvia wrote:


Gabe wrote:

I’m very ex­cit­ed about the prospect of not ex­ist­ing. Please weigh in if you have an opin­ion. Maybe we’ll put it to a vote.

Sylvia wrote:

Not too clever, Derek. Post­ing as “Gabe” is an ob­vi­ous sub­terfuge. I vote that “Gabe” get stuffed. Re­mem­ber, “Gabe” rhymes with “Cheater! Liar!”

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