Monday, November 24, 2008


Woman 10/31/08

She had really sad eyes. Bulging bug-eyes that told of an experienced life. The eyes were highlighted with eyeliner and she had on red lipstick. No other signs of make-up were very evident. Her purple headscarf that housed skinny long hair braids out the back, but revealed a mix of brown dye and aged white roots in the front bangs. Interestingly, she projected warmth and friendliness.

It was really the clothing that made her interesting. She was dressed like an ethnic tribal woman. There was this short-sleeved full-length poncho. Black but covered with primary color geometric patterns that suggested a floral influence, with tassels on the bottom. The poncho was cotton.

Under that poncho? A cotton, long-sleeve black blouse with ethnic patterns on the sleeves. And that was layered over a black turtleneck. With a red scarf loosely wrapped around her neck. Continuing her look was this solid black cotton gypsy skirt, over black suede boots with a side zip. She really had a specific style, right down to the light purple nail polish.

The accessories provided her the finishing touch. A bare right wrist. A full left wrist with a watch that had a blue rectangular face and blue strap. 10 or so thin bangles, majority made of silver or stainless steel, one was resin with purple flecks on white, almost marble-like pattern, and one was multicolor. Pearl earrings accented with diamonds, or rhinestone that really sparkled.

With her backpack, she was taking up two seats. Well, it was really a knapsack. A black leather knapsack with a leather drawstring for it’s main compartment, and on it’s front pocket, a leather map of Africa. At first it seemed like a logo, but a harder second look showed the patch to be a cutout in the shape of the continent. And keeping with her look, the knapsack was quite worn and weathered.

She held her tortoiseshell sunglasses in one hand, and later replaced it with her cell phone from the knapsack. On her lap was this clear plastic yellow Ziploc folder. It was filled with forms of all colors and one could just make-out the logo of NYSCA on one of those forms.

This woman was soon having a conversation with a fellow passenger who’d originally been my first choice for observation, but she seemed to be drunk and sleeping it off. Well, turns out she had sleep apnea. And her birthday was 2/9/62, same sign as this woman.

The woman spoke with no accent, and when the sleep apnea woman exited the train, she pulled out a yellow colored pamphlet and started reading the black type. It was written in Spanish.

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