Train Catalogue #7

As entire carriages full of sleepy World Series viewers trundled into the city’s heart this morning, I spied two passengers reading words on paper: the first had a volume of Harry Potter in her lap, although I couldn’t tell which one; the second, standing in front of me, was studying a xeroxed copy of an article out of Science, Technology & Human Values.

Had I not left the page I scribbled it down on at work, I would be able to give you an exact quotation of one of the piece’s subject headings, which I found sort of charming, something which might have been “Why Exactly Are We So Persistent?” As I was wondering why it was so important to me to figure out what exactly the document’s owner was learning about, I noticed a dude unable to take his eyes off the smartphone screen being held by the stranger in front of him. I’ve no idea if our visual eavesdropper was attracted by an e-book or a lengthy salacious text exchange or the morning’s 47th replay of game seven’s final out– but his persistence in keeping that screen in view was undeniable.

The woman I spotted on the afternoon train with a biography of Selena (Quintanilla Perez, not Gomez) disappeared into another car; by that point in the day, though, any persistence I’d started out with had fallen beneath any useful level, and all I noticed while staring slack-jawed out the windows was a beautifully waning fall day.

 

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