It could be the unseasonable warmth (I'll take it), but I have noticed a bit more eye contact on the T in the last couple of days. Boston (aside from certain neighborhoods certain times of the year, maybe) doesn't seem to be too big on eye contact. Other cities I've lived in have been much more willing (some even eager) to look me in the eye. Boston never has. It is a snooty, shifty, side-long glancing city. And it's a shame, really.
This morning there was a handsome middle aged woman in a burberry scarf holding a coffee to her bossom in a slightly affected way who stared me down over the heads of one section of commuters in a very civilized sort of way for most of the trip from JFK to Park. She was admirably noncommital. I couldn't tell you why she was looking at me all that time, but every time I looked up from my book, she was. It wasn't intrusive, but there was some sort of invitation in it. To what, I don't know. I am tempted to apply Occam's Razor here, but I think I would sound like a typical headstrong male.
Today was also a day of redheads *Sigh*. I don't know what it is about red heads, but they turn my crank. At least some days. Even just their hair. In fact, it is often just their hair. You know how Baudelaire had this thing about hair. “Delight! I want to shake the memories hiding/In this hair, toss it like a kerchief flying/In the air, to fill this night, this dismal room!” That's me with redheads. And it's not just humans, either. I think Hungarian viszlas are gorgeous too. This morning there was a guy about my age with gorgeous tresses. But he was reading a big, fat hardcover, and had this look of perpetual surprise on his face--both eyebrows arched. Whenever I looked over he had that Joan Crawford in the headlights look. He got off at South Station, and when he closed his book, I noticed it was something by Stephen King, which might have explained the look, but then he gets up to go and he still had the look on his face. I watched him leave the car, and the look never left his face. Can he always look like that? It can't be healthy.
There was another very tall, handsome redhead on my way home this afternoon. He was a head taller than me, and I'm six feet. He had an extremely agreeable and sympathetic face. He looked over at me while we were waiting at Park, and when he saw I was staring shamelessly back he did a doubletake, and there ensued several silly exchanges. As with the woman in burberry, I couldn't tell you what it was about, although I have my self-indulgent little theories.
There was also a young woman on that packed train who was standing next to me, and around Andrew Station she leaned over to the Indian man who was sitting in front of me reading an Agatha Christie book and said, "excuse me, sir, I feel like I'm going to faint. Would you mind if I sat down?" He got up immediately, and she took his seat. I think she was being a bit of a drama queen, if you want to know the truth. She didn't look at all like she was about to faint. And if she was about to faint why was her request for his seat so long-winded and elaborate? And why didn't she ask the woman seated right in front of her, or the one next to her? Female treachery? I don't know of any man who has ever done such a thing, and if one did swoon and announce he thought he was about to faint, the most people would do is clear away so he wouldn't bump into them on his way down. Are women really that much more delicate? I thought that notion went out with the Victorians. "Nervous exhaustion," they called it. I don't know, ladies. I was just skeptical. Not that I mind, and I would have done the same as that Indian gentleman, of course. I mean, you can hardly snap, "yeah, right!" or "I'm not fully convinced--prove it!" can you?
One other thing I wanted to mention, in the "from the mouths of babes" department. On the train from Park to Arlington this morning was a fresh-faced young man with a brand spanking new Avery Quadrille Laboratory Notebook. He was gazing upon the first page, which he'd obviously just filled up with whatever pearls of wisdom he could come up with. I could only read the first line from where I sat. He had written: "You've got to start somewhere." Here, here. If it is a diary (or "journal" as they're called now), it is a respectable first line. Mine was "It snowed last night." Tolstoy's was: "It is six days since I entered the clinic. I've had gonorrhea from the source whence it is customarily obtained..." Just a random sampling.
22 minutes in transit this morning. 24 minutes this afternoon.