Friday, June 02, 2006


People sell things on the Metro. I recognize the faces of some of the vendors. It must be a full-time gig. One guy came in one day with a glass cutter and some glass. He held up the knife, spoke loudly, then proceeded to cut strips of glass off one by one, lifting each up to show the precision of his cut. A man with either little awareness of, or little need for, that phrase, "The world changed on 9/11."

Today, while taking the Metro to my tutor's apartment, a guy came in and pulled a handful of Band-Aids out of his duffel bag. They come in finger-long cardboard boxes, not very thick, maybe a few Band-Aids to the box. I've been seeing these things sold for a couple weeks now. Maybe a crate fell off a truck somewhere. The first time I saw them, I thought they were syringes. The box looks about that size. But then I saw they were Band-Aids, twenty-some cents a box. I thought, Who wants to buy a Band-Aid in a Metro? Maps of the city, yes. Phone books. Directories of restaurants and theaters. A World Cup 2006 poster to hang on your wall, complete with places to fill in the winner of each match -- I almost bought that. But Band-Aids? Apparently, they must be pretty good. Today after giving his sales pitch, five people around me dug into their pockets and coughed up a Griven bill. Two people on each side of me and one staring me in the eye. I thought, You're all some clumsy Ukrainians. I think I'll just let you go first, maybe ride through to the next stop, make sure you don't trip me up on your way down.