The wrong side of the tracks

As I stand on the platform waiting for the metro home at the end of the day, I notice a man standing on the platform opposite. I’d say he’s in his early 60s, glasses, wisps of white hair on the sides of an otherwise bald head, long black overcoat, briefcase. He starts to wave in a slow, robotic mime style, waggling his head in what he hopes is an amusing fashion, and smiling at a woman of a similar age opposite him, on my side of the tracks.

She smiles back. He pauses, then uses both hands to outline a curvaceous, hourglass figure, smiling all the while. She smiles back. Then one of his hands makes an ambiguous movement near his crotch, but he is interrupted by the approaching train, which blocks her view.

Once he has boarded the train, he stands near the window and repeatedly waves at her, trying to attract her attention, but she is no longer looking at him. As the train pulls away he gives up, and turns to smile at the woman standing next to him.

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6 thoughts on “The wrong side of the tracks

  1. rasman1978 April 18, 2008 / 11:09 am

    I love noticing moments like that, too. What’s difficult is holding them in your head long enough to write them down. Nicely done.

    Like

  2. simonlitton April 18, 2008 / 12:16 pm

    I carry a notepad with me at all times, so I started writing as soon as I’d boarded my own train.

    Like

  3. Karen MEG (Pomtini) April 19, 2008 / 1:23 pm

    Simon, what a great post!! There’s so much material out there, even during the most mundane of times, isn’t there? Good thing.

    I love the way you tell the story!

    Like

  4. Anil April 19, 2008 / 4:50 pm

    You’ve frozen the moment very well.

    Like

  5. simonlitton April 21, 2008 / 9:50 am

    Thanks, Karen. You know what they say, “There are eight million stories in the Naked City; this has been one of them.”

    Thanks, Anil. You’ve got some beautiful photographs over there on your blog…

    Like

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