Four Readers

Native New Yorkers are like unicorns. Everybody who lives there seems to be from somewhere else. And everybody comes together on the subway.

I am sitting among three people with books open on their laps. To my left, it looks like this woman is reading something in Chinese, if time spent strolling through the Lower East Side has given me any foundation.

To my right, an older gentleman is reading something in English, and beyond him, someone is reading in Russian, at a guess.

I can see a woman across the aisle with what looks like a Hebrew holy book of some sort. The worn, cornerless pages looked either well-loved or tortured; I couldn’t decide. The lettering on the cover had faded into dark brown of the book’s leathery skin.

Sometimes I wonder how we all understand each other. I think maybe we never really do.


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the untallied hours

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