When you take the metro, there are good and bad things about it. The good thing is that you’re not alone, there’s plenty of people to watch. The bad thing is, well, you’re not alone.
Cases in point:
I see the guy as he leaves the train. Warning lights go off in my head. There’s something not quite right. I keep him in my peripheral vision as I pass through the turnstiles. Glancing backwards, I see he’s lighting a cigarette before he puts his farecard in. I see Redskins gear all over him.
Great, I think. The fucker’s local.
I walk towards the escalator as quickly as possible. I’ve just come back from kung fu class and while I’d rather start climbing up, I decide to wait it out.
Not twenty seconds later, there’s whistling and catcalling from Mr. Redskins.
“Hey man, you like that shit up there?”
I ignore the guy. Hopefully, it’ll just stop.
He tugs on my gear bag. My head twitches.
“You like the pussy, right? Right there?”
The woman directly in front of me starts walking up the escalator. Mr. Redskins starts making appreciative noises.
My head goes slack as I think about what the hell this guy thinks he’s doing. As women pass, he continues to catcall. Some turn back to look at him. For a moment, I’m afraid that they think I’m making the rude comments.
My silence obviously unnerves him. “Shit man. That’s your problem. You learn the book too much. Turns you into a faggot.”
At that, I turn, give him the finger, and walk up the escalator.
Sitting down on the metro, I see three other people walk in. I notice that each of them is holding a very thick book. The spine is grey and the rest of the book is a grey blue. I recognize the book immediately, because I’m reading the same thing. They take separate seats on the train, and open their books.
I interrupt the woman next to me.
“You took the book cover off of your book, any particular reason why?”
She looks at me and shrugs. “I do that with every book.”
“Even children’s books?” I hold up my copy of J.K. Rowling’s Order of the Phoenix.
She smiles. “Okay, you caught me.”
I point at the man sitting across from me. “You?”
He nods his head. “Busted.”
In this small moment in time, we have a small club.