June 25, 2008

Morning Smile

I filed out of the Red Line train and trudged up the stairs to the next level with all the other sheep. I entered the Blue Line train, sat down, opened my book, and continued reading. Others did the same. The doors closed, and we zoomed out of the 7th Street/Metro Center station.

The train emerged from its underground tunnel and arrived at its first stop: Pico Station, right next to Staples Center. The doors opened. The doors closed. Continuing to read, I barely noticed.

Next stop: Grand Station. A movment beside the train caught my eye. I looked out the window. In the back seat of a maroon car, a little girl was waving. At me.

The doors opened. I glanced at the other passengers on the train, then looked back out the window. She was still waving. I waved back and forced a smile, which seemed an almost revolutionary act, because people riding public transportation rarely smile.

She smiled back, a great big smile. She grabbed her brother's arm--he was sitting next to her in that back seat--and made him look. He smiled and waved. I waved back. And then I smiled again. This time, I couldn't help it.

And the doors closed and the train moved on.

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