Train Catalogue Redivivus

Hans Krell, Princess Emilia of Saxony, via Wikimedia Commons.

Hans Krell, Princess Emilia of Saxony, via Wikimedia Commons.

Down the aisle from me sat a woman with a pronounced Elizabethan hairline, high, high forehead and plucked and penciled eyebrows bent toward the hardback book in her lap, and the audible world blocked out with the unsurprising presence of earbuds. I never discovered what it was she was reading; only that its cover featured bright yellows and reds and oranges, a fitting complement to the late-afternoon sun coming in through the carriage windows, and doing so in an unusually clear and determined fashion for this time of year.

Well-matched, though, as her text was with the weather, the passenger was apparently conflicted between loyalty to or interest in the narrative on paper and the one being created with her own two thumbs and the screen of her phone, which rested against the pages when she wasn’t toying with it.

Much like the title of her tome, I’ll never find out whether she chose one medium or the other, or whether she continued her jumpy oscillation between the two; as if sensing my thoughts, just before I got off at my stop, the woman glanced my way with what seemed to be an optic warning to back off.

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