Tuesday, November 02, 2004

On the way home tonight on the train. A Hispanic girl, must have been six or so. Sat on the bench across from me, right near the rail, unaccompanied. She grimly withdrew a comic book from her backpack, a pink backpack, Hello Kitty. And she began to read.

I kept my eye on her, amazed.

She had dark crescents beneath her eyes. She looked to the right with exasperated kinship upon a family, all dead tired. Her mother a young bleached blond thing with a brood beyond her grasp. She braced one wheel of the baby carriage against her foot and lifted her head straight up to sleep hungrily, mouth agape. And the girl across from me saw her mother and leaned against the rail for a moment's sympathetic slumber. Then she awoke, as did her mother, and we were shaking into the station, and then again the mother leaned back, mouth opening horse-like, and the girl scurried between her haughty brothers to her mother's side.