Francis looked over the MARTA map across from him, posted to the wall of the train and thought: they tried. They tried because in looking under the lines used to represent tracks, to the city of Atlanta’s mapping, Francis thought: they didn’t, and isn’t it a little unfair that New York gets praised for its public transportation system for running a subway down a narrow chunk of land? No public transportation system could make all of Atlanta’s sprawl easily accessible, and after all MARTA is functioning enough if it can get you to the airport so that you can leave the south.
As the train came to a pause, Francis was able to make out a sign just past the dirty train windows, and his own fogged-up glasses. Five Points. It wasn’t his stop, but then again, none of these would ever really be his stop – he’d have to board and exit a plane before he’d be able to (once again) find that. Francis wondered if this Five Points was Little, since he thought there might be a denoted difference between the two (Little and Not), but he wasn’t local for long enough to find that out for certain.
Francis thought about potential superpowers, and how he always told people he wanted to be super strong. But really, more than anything, he wanted to be able to rap. Not for fame or fortune, no, but as a talent to grab from his back pocket in times of needing to impress or distract his peers. That, or for when he was bored or didn’t know what else to do. There were a lot of times when Francis was unsure of what to do, and it would be powerful if he could do more than nothing. He imagined he made a lot of faces while he sat there, thinking to himself, but he had no way of checking, and at this point, most people are conditioned not to look at strangers anyways.
Francis exited the train at its final stop, and went through security with a pep in his step. And as he waited for boarding, he looked at the strangers and wondered if he could differentiate those who were coming from those who were going, since there must be a swagger associated with a return home. When he boarded the plane, he did it with swagger (either real or imposed), and thought, maybe this time, he’d talk to his neighbor.
What if maybe bowling began with stranded people punching holes in coconuts and later throwing them into things? I’ve always loved a good origin story, and I sometimes wonder if I’m about to start mine. I thought about it, and I would want to be super strong, if I were to gain a superpower, that is. Did I already mention that? Maybe I just thought it. And sure you can sit in the middle – I didn’t mean to separate you from your wife – it’s just on my ticket, is all.
Francis was quiet for a while, and he never learned to rap. And they haven’t been able to find the plane yet, since the crash was so strange, that the search crew has sworn to avoid all eye contact with it – if found. But some swear they saw it split apart mid-flight, and insist that both sides landed on or close enough to an island for the survivors to continue to survive – at least for a little bit longer. And if Francis survived the crash, he surely taught the others how to bowl, because his superpower was comic relief. But he wouldn’t make it much further than the mid-season climax, because that’s just not the kind of guy that poor Francis is.