The subway incident

A couple of weeks ago I rode the subway to the Atlanta airport. It is not a proper subway, since much of the track lies above ground. But now that I live in the country the subway is my favorite mode of transport when I go to town--in the first place, because I have lost the nerve required to drive a car in the city, and in the second place, because I like to look at people.

More than that, I like to be with them--to sit shoulder to shoulder with a woman in a printed silk sari, even if we never acknowledge each other's presence; to listen to the pounding rhythms that escape the headset of the black teenager in front of me; to watch the baby in the pink pantsuit hanging over her mother's shoulder, making eyes at the hung­over man whom everyone else pretends not to see.


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