An Average Day: Part 4 of 8

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A fictional day comprised from parts of many non-fictional days while I was backpacking in Europe

Whenever I got a cold, my parents would make me drink orange juice, so it’s taken on kind of a holy water status in my subconscious. I have this irrational idea that putting as much Vitamin C into my body as I can might make up for any lack of fruit or vegetable intake, so while waiting for the train I buy an orange juice from the vending machine and notice the weight of the foreign change drops more heavily into the machine than coins do at home. I read my book with my thumb between the pages propping it open, constantly a tad frustrated with how the pages want to close, but not enough to crease the bind. Between paragraphs I pause to watch people.

A crazy drunk man across the tracks is yelling in the local language. People sitting near him keep their eyes aimed away and pull the stuff in their laps up close to their chest. The ones safely on my side intently watch him pace back and forth, waving his arms in proclamation of something.

Both trains come at once, prompting a short daydream of a head on collision, then pass to park with a sharp squeal. I board, smiling to those who I catch looking my way and then feel my mouth sink as they all look away. I wonder if they simply don’t like people looking at them or with my messy hair, clothes and unshaven face, they’ve put me in the same place as the crazy guy who just got on the other train.

There are empty seats, but instead of getting up for a wobbly elder at the next stop, I wrap one arm around a pole and take a very engineered stance with my feet spread wide apart and perpendicular to each other, then begin to read again. Peeking over the top of my book I catch an older woman inspecting the title and probably noticing it’s in English. She sees me looking at her and looks away. Maybe she couldn’t read the whole title, because in the reflection of the dark windows, I can see her head bobbing around with the sway of the subway car and looking again. For fun, I slowly move the book down and peak my eyes over at her. Quickly, she looks away again. I even tip my book forward so she can see me smiling and laughing and know it’s all for fun, but she stays a stranger.

To my left I notice a little kid is faced backwards in his seat watching me too. I put the book between our eyes and then slowly peak over like I did for the woman. He drops to hide behind the seat so that all I can see are his little hands cupped over the top. I raise my book back up, wait a few seconds and then slowly move it down again. He drops, giggles and in a little accented voice says something I can’t understand. But I don’t need to. At least someone is up for a game.

2 Thoughts on “An Average Day: Part 4 of 8”

  1. Katie Says:

    I’ve noticed that people stare at me a lot. I think it’s interesting how easily they can tell that I am a foreigner, even when I am not speaking or reading or wearing anything different than they are.. but I like that little kids continue to stare, even after you look at them as if to say, “can I help you with something?” And then you get to play games. Games are fun.

  2. stacey Says:

    awww…this is my favorite “average day” so far

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