She enters at Canal, well dressed for (what I’m guessing to be her) early twenties. Her perfect waistline screams of self control and an active lifestyle. Her face is pretty, almost too pretty and I’d suspect modeling if she weren’t so short. When she walks past, a hint of lilac lingers in the air.

Gracefully, she sits near the door, and opens a steaming container of street vendor fried rice. It’s probably vegetable, she has that vegan vibe, which is fine. The first bite isn’t quite savored, it’s only fried rice, but her face tells me she hasn’t eaten all day. The second bite is shoveled down, before abandoning the Styrofoam container on the seat adjacent. A hand dives into a bag, designer, either real or a well made knock-off, and she extracts a very worn iPhone. She seems nervous as her thumbs fly across the touch screen. She’s too distracted to notice that the motion of the train is rattling her plastic fork near the edge of her container. With baited breath, I watch waiting for the inevitable. It falls without a sound; it’s disappointingly anticlimactic. She puts her phone away and reaches down for another bite. Her face registers disappointment, and I can finally see a yearning hunger that nearly matches my own. She closes the lid and retrieves her phone. She pops in earbuds and listens to music while starring out the window.

She departs at the next stop; I do as well. I don’t have to follow for long: she gracefully drops the nearly full container of rice into the platform garbage can. I slow my pace and pretend to tie my shoes, while she, and the rest of the passengers, head up the stairs. An old woman in fake fur sees me reach in; she turns her head, making me invisible once again. It is vegetable fried rice, far from my favorite, but you know what they say.


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