Normally during my daily commute on MARTA’s rail service, I’m head-down-eyes-on-laptop-screen, as I typically use that time to edit, write, or catch up on email. But this morning, Outlook crashed, as it sometimes does, and I needed to reboot in order to restore it. I love my itty-teeny Sony VAIO ultraportable, but even with its RAM upgraded to maximum capacity, it boots sloooow. So I sighed, CTRL-ALT-DELed, and settled down to wait.
I need to remember that occasionally, it can be amusing to look up.
I think the line I take goes by some private high school or academy; now and then I see uniform-wearing young people, always in groups and clusters. During this morning’s commute, I shared my car with three female students, two of them on one seat and a third that went darting down the aisle after the train had commenced moving in order to hover by her classmates, trying to entreat them to move to where she had been sitting so that they could all sit together (the two seemed disinclined).
The movement and the entreaty caught my eye, and I glanced over. My interest in their exchange was short-lived, and I looked away after a second or two. But then I saw that another passenger, an older woman, was scrutinizing them intently. This did pique my interest, as her fixated attention made me wonder what she found so fascinating. But, as I didn’t want to be rude and stare at her, I used the darkened—and therefore highly reflective—windows to obliquely watch her (and the trio of students). I subsequently noticed that someone else, a middle-aged man, was also watching the girls and the older woman via the mirror-like windows.
Yep, watchers-watching-watcher—very spy-versus-spy—and it made me grin. Intrigue and conspiracy aboard the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. *Snerk*
I never did figure out what the older woman watcher was so riveted by, as my laptop finished rebooting, and I got sucked back into my work. But that’s probably for the better. There’s definitely a story there, but I suspect the true story is pretty mundane, and I’m better off letting my imagination indulge in the less likely and more lurid scenarios.
The kids probably go to Woodward Academy down by Lakewood. I’ve run into them before when I take MARTA to the airport in the morning.
You’re familiar with “The Man With No Tongue,” I assume? He frequents MARTA, yelling about some book in an unintelligible, shrill garble. He’s often at Five Points.
I’m guessing the children had the missing body part in question. He pursues them relentlessly, hoping one day to reclaim it so his dire warnings can be heard by the masses.
Strange goings-on the train. Perhaps the girls had very, very short skirts?
Otherwise, it must have been international intrigue, eh? Perhaps a murder by cell phone? Mystery on the midtown express?