Now that winter’s here, the train’s interior soundscape has taken on a new dimension, with the distinctly plastic swish of pieces of hi-tech outerwear brushing against each other as their wearers enter and leave the carriage. And that added bulk and the huddled postures that shape it have also increased the obstacles blocking my line of reader-spying vision. But they’re there, those faithful fans of ink and paper; one on the way home, appropriately enough, was reading The Girl on the Train.
The other, I’ll admit, was testing my patience with his apparent inability to understand both how his body occupied space, and the fact that others around him also took up a certain amount of physical area close to or overlapping his own, and that compromise in the placement of everyone’s physique was the only acceptable mark of civilized behavior. But I’ll admit that my irritation at having his quilted-jacket-bound left arm shoved into my side was very slightly lessened due to the fact that said arm was helping to support a fat open book in front of his face. I’m willing, though not really likely, to believe that he was so engrossed in what seemed to be fiction that he didn’t even realize there was an entire mass of people surrounding him, close enough to stir his hair with their breath or swap a body-hopping germ or two.
But the week that seemed it would never end, at least not with my sanity intact, is over, and with promised snowstorms on the way, I can think of no better way to spend the days ahead than mercifully free from the sardine-packing of rush hour, under the covers with a good book or three– at least if I don’t sleep the entire weekend away. Either way, sanity: you can come back home now; the coast looks clear for at least the next forty-eight hours.