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Archive for March, 2014

If it were not for the occasional grey at his temples he’d easily be mistaken for one of the Hardy Boys. His boyish face and boyish frame – remnants of an earlier age, are still present, such that I’m convinced that he has freckles despite the fact that he doesn’t.

The look on his face is difficult to read.  At times he appears timid. Or deep in thought.   Perhaps he’s confused.  He looks up at the train map every now and then and his forehead contracts deepening the creases that are already there.  He watches commuters board at each stop and when he does this he lowers his face but looks up with his eyes.  Now he appears as innocent as he was when his his mother caught him sneaking gum drops when he had been explicitly told to wait.

It could be that he is new to the city.  People that are new to the city have different mannerisms when they ride the trains than do people who have lived here awhile.   It’s the glancing up at the map, and the attention at the stops.   New people to the city watch others board the trains not because they think a friend might get on but because they’re studying how the crowd functions.  It’s a subtle difference.  As for the map – eventually they learn to feel their way along the Red Line based upon the sounds and the sway of the cars.

While his mannerisms appear to be that of someone new to the city, his style of dress does not.  His brown suede shoes have salt stains.  Nicely cut navy-blue cotton slacks fit him perfectly as does the black quilted winter jacket that is tapered near the waist.  The collar and placket of his wool sweater is visible because his jacket is half unzipped.   His charcoal hair has a slight sheen and is parted precisely on the left.  The cut is borderline hipster but is kept far above his eye brows.

He pulls a book from his brown canvas bag.  On it’s pages are charts and graphs. Statistics. The subject congruent with his appearance.  Mostly the book is a prop because he doesn’t spend time focusing on the pages.  When he thumbs through the pages I notice the ring he’s wearing.  It’s the same matt-finish tungsten ring that I’m wearing.  I think he’ll notice mine when it catches the light – that he’ll see that it’s the same as his and this will cause him to look up at my face but that doesn’t happen.

I loose track of his actions by the next stop not because he has left but because the train fills  and those that are standing block my view.  Maybe now, with no clear cut view of anything, he’ll begin studying  the pages of his book.

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