People on the Tube

Two interesting people on the Tube back from Arnos Grove today.

A little ten-year old girl with pink suede ankle-high boots and round wire-framed glasses reading “The A to Z Family Health Encyclopedia” (must be this year’s Christmas gift for the bookish kids because I’ve seen it advertised and read by a few people already). She’s very excited about her book and looks up at her mom (very bored and eating an entire pack of Doritos) to say “Mum, this is very interesting!” “Mum, I think I have a sore throat” and reads, very absorbed, page after page, turning them from right to left and crossing and uncrossing her pink suede books. She looks up once in a while and makes hilarious faces in the convex window opposite her, and I pretend to sleep (because I don’t have anything to read). And keeps looking up at her mom, who is still eating. I can imagine her being a doctor one day.

Second person is an older man who gets in at Leicester Square and sits, every muscle controlled, with a peaceful expression on his face like someone who practices daily meditation. He has the most amazing eyebrows I’ve ever seen in my life: busy, grey, and curving high HIGH on the edge of his forehead, like some ancient owl. He wears round wire-framed glasses and doesn’t carry anything. He wears lovely brown lace-up shoes and khaki pants that look expensive and worn-in, and a navy-blue fleece jacket. He sits with his arms in his laps and has a slight smile. Doesn’t look up at the name of the station and gets out at Holborn, with the same meditative stance, calm, un-hurried. And I know, right then and there, that he’s a philosophy lecturer, on his way to the museum for one particular exhibit.


One thought on “People on the Tube

  1. I think I was the girl reading the encyclopedia once. I loved the health encyclopedias… She will either be a doctor or a hypochondriac….

    Your descriptions of London make it such a likeable place. I’m going to have to visit there with you one day soon!!!

    Hugs vi!

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