We all got caught in the rain, everyone I can take stock of in this car. It’s the rare instance, even for New York, where one can be certain, down to the faces, that there are about 30 souls sharing the same momentary misery, in this case soggy and over air conditioned. Some make it halfway through a displeasing shoe squishing before stopping themselves. Some keep their soaked items away from themselves as if it could possibly make them more damp. My favorite is a woman making her way through a sopping New York Times. An unwieldy publication to read on the train even when dry, now she’s carefully separating stuck sections and pages and trying to avoid all the inevitable silent tears in the runny newsprint. I’m trying to decide if the scene is sad or intrepid or some sort of parable.
During the rush hour (and why do we pretend that it’s just one hour? Maybe the pretense of Happy Hour being just one hour makes up for it?) the train pulls into any number of platforms crammed with bodies. The worst is Wall Street with its too-small-to-accommodate platform and burdened-by-business-attire crowd. It’s bad that despite the heat they’re still shoulder to shoulder or even shoulder in shoulder to the point that I have no doubt some of them are trading sweat with each other. It’s worse, though, that they suffer and wait for the train to stop with pleading eyes and broken postures and not one of them has bothered to take off their shirt so they can feel free to stand up straight.
A smoking jacket, swimming trunks, and sandals. No bag. What party or locker room are you coming from?