And this doesn’t count.
Monthly Archives: November 2011
The opera lover stood out from the other suited commuters. It was rush hour and he wasn’t wearing grey or black or dark blue or brown. That marked him out from the start. He stood in the middle of the carriage and a man stood between the two of us. The arm of this man, grasping high at the yellow ceiling rail, obscured the opera lovers face. The silver watch on the wrist of this man was exactly level with the opera lovers eyes and, when the carriage jolted, the arm and the face of the two men were synchronized in their movement. The opera lovers face remained unseen. Everyone in the carriage was quiet, eyes puffy and half asleep. In the silence the sound of an aria grew and expanded. A tiny woman’s voice, small, but strong and clear; without the usual tinny buzz of leaking music. Beneath it the accompanying string section rose and fell, a tide to the moon. From his clothes the opera lover was young. He wore a beanie, pulled back and high so that a triangle of hair showed at his forehead. He wore jeans and a loose check shirt. This marked him out as well. At each station commuters got off but each time more commuters got on, and slowly the carriage filled. I had never really seen him, but I lost sight of the opera lover. The music continued for a while until, somewhere between Farringdon and Aldgate East, that too vanished.