she grabs her friend’s arm to get her attention. the girl visibly jumps.
she plays solitaire on her iPod. he watches, rapt, even awestruck.
a tiny child wails at Dad until he lets him walk over to Mom.
a sad-looking youngwoman gazes pointedlyat her wedding ring.
"you have nice skin," hesays, staring. some compliments are just not OK.
i watch him chase heronto the trolley, giggling.she looks back with love.
twin sisters bounce and chant, “it’s our birthday, make some noise!” laughing loudly.
bleary-eyed, his head lolls on his neck, and he tries to hold his coffee.
after giving hertoken, she says, “i paid you!”you want a cookie?
my sense of smell hasgotten sharp; this dude smells of sweat and velveeta.
a man dressed all inwhite takes great care not to touchanything by hand.
despite a splotchy skin rash, she works the aisle likeit was a runway.
it’s fun to watch one stranger avoid another;see they were once friends.
she wiggles her buttand cranes her neck to look atit in the window.
a woman wakes froma nap, reaches out, steadies a falling stranger.
the lady next tome raises her arm, showingher armpit, three times.
"i want to go tochuck e. cheese,” the girl says. mom’squiet. she adds, “NOW.”
at the stop, she throws her burning cigarette nextto a pile of leaves.
"it’s a man’s world," a man says, swaying back and forth.all the women glare.
the crowd drones untilthe train comes above ground, and she screams at her phone.
"good morning, man," he bellows; then, as cheerfully:"i ain’t got no fare."
i watch him put his cigarette out on the sideof the train, then board.
the woman in thehandicapped seat stretches herlong, unimpaired legs.
she’s unwieldy withher suitcase, and she squeals “ooh!” each time she topples.
she perches on the stairwell bar, then lurches offwhen the trolley brakes.
a girl fights with her friends, then weaves through the aisle toget away from them.
a woman greets me warmly, but she’s mistaken me for someone else.
the conductor smacks the seat to wake a nappinggirl, and take her fare.
a woman’s arm iscovered not with tattoos, butwith painted flowers.
"i’m warning you," a girl in a pink cap says, “imove around a lot.”
i sit down withoutlooking, almost atop myseatmate’s thick, sprawled thigh.