Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Breaking free

I saw him laugh and more than anything else it is his face laughing that I know I will remember the most. I had rushed to get in the subway as the doors were closing. In Paris, the doors open automatically when one does this. A foot in the door, so to speak, to catch the metro. So as the familiar chime was ringing, I threw my right arm in the door. The door closed and I could see the book I was reading on the other side of the door, my hand still holding it. At that moment I realized that the doors would not open like in Paris and that I was trapped. I swore loudly in English as it always seems more benign than in French, suddenly very scared to be dragged along with the departing subway. I wrestled my arm out, forcing the book out by bending it and damaging its cover a bit. I broke free of the metro not a moment too soon, almost happy to have escaped without a major injury and that's when I heard it. A loud laugh coming from a balding guy that I've seen around several times. He was laughing, mocking me openly. I can still picture his face filled with glee over my misfortune.


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