Monday, February 25, 2013

Don't Look Now, But I Think We're Being Followed

Hair a rat's nest, clothes stained, bent almost double at the waist, he sways drunkenly at the end of the hallway connecting the subway to the surface. We sweep past him to pound up the stairs as he slowly fumbles at the Velcro straps of his shoes with the squint-eyed concentration of a man performing surgery while simultaneously trying to fish a stubborn piece of popcorn out of a back molar.

Given the peculiarities of air flow underground, the reek of him pursues us like an avenging ghost, thickening around us as we rise. The nauseating tang of human sweat, filth and sweet rot builds and chokes the air until we reach the surface, and it abruptly breaks, to be replaced by the fug of old coffee and exhaust, stale perfume and sewer steam.

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