Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Standing, smushed up against the side door of the train car, in the crushing tide of people flowing on board. An occasional grunt from some brave soul trying to wedge themselves into the car, as the train sits on the tracks, idle, delayed for half an hour. An accident further down the line. I hear this news and my irritation jumps up a level--probably some jerk driver trying to beat the train. Stupid jerk driver. Stupid train.

The train finally jerks forward, and the doors close in on us. For the next half hour, I stand pinned to a back window, as a steady trickle of intrepid train riders squeeze themselves into every available inch of space. Stop, after stop, after stop. We are on top of each other, pressed into each other, a tangle of packages and elbows and unhappy glares.

We are smushed. We sigh.

Then, something happens. A young couple at the other end of the train throw back their heads and begin to sing. Suddenly the train car is filled with their voices--a deep, sad gospel song. Chatter ceases, and necks crane to find the source of the sound. An old man sitting down near me smiles, and we exchange a brief looks of happy wonderment. He closes his eyes, and nods his head in satisfaction.

And so do I.

posted by m at 11:10 AM

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