Please forgive the clunkiness of the graphic; I only have MS Paint on this computer. It is, I hope, a useful visual aid to observations that follow.
The F train emptied out a bit at York St, meaning that I got a seat and an opportunity to scrutinise my fellow passengers. The first guy to catch my attention is to my 2 o’clock. He’s beanpole-thin and over 6 foot. He’s grabbed ahold of the two bars that run the length of the carriage and, occasionally, lifts himself up off the floor. He does this just so often that I notice, but not so often as to identify himself as completely nuts. While I set my peripheral vision the task of watching out for the next pull-up, I look straight ahead. A lady with a studded denim jacket is holding her head as if it might come off.
To her left is seated a chap in his 40s whose hair is tied in an off-white bandana. He has his eyes shut and his feet tap out a rythym that suggests to me he’s listening to rock music. Then, ever so subtly, he raises his right hand and starts doing some kind of tai-chi move. I would have peered more closely, but at this point the beanpole has started another pull-up and my eyes snap back. But this time they focus on a guy who *thinks* he is a Tom Cruise lookalike. He’s got on the reflective Ray Bans and pulls his mouth into a pout. He appears to be eyeing up the midriff of our 6 footer; the exercise has caused his t shirt to untuck.
Chap gets on at Jay St Metrotech and he is small. We’re talking under 5 foot. He stands just far enough away from the fitness nut to avoid direct height comparison. He’s wearing a kippah and has with him an enormous great book – the size, perhaps, of a volume of the Encylopedia Britannica. Leather bound, gilt edges, that kind of thing, and written in Hebrew. So as far as I’m concerned, the guy is reading this backwards and I am entranced.
Naturally I exited the train to my left, avoiding Tom Cruise and his current crush.
*bonus points to anyone who can correctly identify the zeugma used above