Stopping Traffic

There’s no one more popular in New York than the woman who can’t be bothered to have her Metrocard ready when entering the subway station, but who stands in front of the turnstile desperately plumbing the depths of her oversize purse, her arm plunged up to the elbow.

Her wallet, when she finds it, will be overstuffed and as easy to extract items from as the mouth of the reptile whose skin was used in its manufacture.

When she swipes her card through the reader, the LED will display INSUFFICIENT FUNDS, and she will sigh, roll her eyes, and push her purse strap up her shoulder. She won’t notice the hordes of commuters she has forced to stream around until she steps for a second into another frantic turnstile lane, bumping someone’s arm and startling herself into the realization that other people exist.

Then she’ll turn on her heels and impatiently push her way past to the Metrocard vending machine, where she will spend a good 45 seconds to a minute searching for her credit card.


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the untallied hours

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