Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ossington bus, safe from the cold snap.

Caucasian male, late 30s, wearing a black wool coat, baseball cap and wrap-around ear muffs. His backpack sits between his legs, hiked up between his calves. The strap sits on the floor, salt water seeping up its length like a burning wick.

The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama (Crown)

Page 176:

The last time we face an economic transformation as disruptive as the one we face today, FDR led the nation to a new social compact--a bargain between government, business, and workers that resulted in widespread prosperity and economic security for more than fifty years.

Sitting across the aisle, a middle-aged woman is flipping through The New Yorker, shooting a glance at the man and his book. She holds the finger of her leather glove flaccid in her teeth and snaps the pages like she's looking for something. A page in the back is earmarked. She's already read the magazine. Or, I think, she's a lefty.

Finally, she rests, pulls the glove from her mouth and smoothes it on her lap. She holds the magazine at eye level, adjusting the distance for vision and begins to read. From where I sit I can see an illustration, three people riding a donkey against a soft pink background. I shake my head in disbelief, propping my backpack on my knees to zip open the front pouch. Retrieving my own copy of The New Yorker, I shuffle through the pages until I see the image and look to the article's title, "The Starting Gate--Foreign policy divides the Democrats" by Jeffrey Goldberg. The tag line of the illustration reads: "Contesting the uses of power: John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama."

Three Canadians riding the bus one morning reading about the same U.S. presidential-hopeful. I jerk my head around, bouncing in my seat like a child who forgot to pee before leaving.

Keep Toronto Reading. February 1-28, 2007

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