sábado, 8 de septiembre de 2007

Pickpocket? on the train

I posted this this morning in Liberty Hall. Right after the encounter, I didn't feel cool to post it on a non password protected site. A few hours later, that seems silly.

Judge by yourself. Here we go.

I've just been in a strange situation.
I was coming back home from my boyfriend's this morning. I was sitting on the train with this shady guy in front of me who was reading a free paper. He looked emaciated and had tracks on his arms. Another shady character was sitting across the aisle. In case anyone cares, the first guy was probably South American. The second's racial background was difficult to ascertain, but when he started talking it was obvious he was Spanish.

The first guy drops the paper and starts nodding off. I pick up the paper and start reading. The guy scuttles off to the window seat to sleep propped up against the window. He leaves a backpack unattended by his side.

The second guy picks up the backpack, removes a metal (silver?) cigarette case from a pocket and replaces the backpack by the first guy's side.

I start wondering if I haven't just seen a robber stealing from a junkie. I don't know what to do. The train is full of people, so my safety is more or less guaranteed. On the other hand, I remember the old Spanish saying: he who steals from a robber deserves a thousand years of forgiveness. This is none of my business, but I decide to butt in.

I look at the second guy. He gives me this blank stare.

"Is that yours?" I ask, pointing at the backpack.


"Then why are you keeping it over here?"

"I'm with that guy," he says pointing at the first guy. The first guy doesn't wake up. "Does it bother you?"

"No. Not at all." Ok. I hadn't considered this, I admit, but these two hadn't spoken a word to each other since they got in and I haven't caught any body language cues that they're together either.

"Are you from here?" The second guy says, referring to the suburbs.

"No," I lie, "I've come to see friends.

We get to my stop and I get off.

My question is: do you think these two were together? do you think I just saw someone stealing from a junkie? Do you think I was wrong to butt in?

There are other questions that bother me. The second guy looked odd but, would I have done the same thing if he were a nicely dressed old lady? What about a well dressed Spanish student? My guess is "no" to the first question and "yes" to the second, but I'll never know.

What was the junkie doing with a metal cigarette box in the first place?

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