Monday, December 26, 2011

Polite?

On its way downtown today, the train filled and filled. At one point, there was nowhere else for people to go, but still they pushed in. The doors kept trying to close but, being stopped by people, reopened again and again. Some passengers pushed through the aisles, possibly trying to find a space less occupied, but everywhere was full, jammed. Might as well just stand still. A woman tried to get out at her stop but was prevented by everybody coming in. There was nowhere for them to go, and despite her screaming, she just kept getting pushed back in. She barely made it out in time, before the doors shut. "You can't be polite here," Sharon told me last week. She was talking about the train and my reluctance to get on right away. But it's not a question of being polite; it's a matter of physics: the people on the train can't get off when the people trying to get on are pushing.

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