Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Yonge Line, fingers numb.

Caucasian male, mid 20s, stocky and muscular, tanned, wearing a North Face jacket and a blue and grey hat pulled low, almost over the rims of his thick-frame glasses. His sucks his teeth, white on white, unnaturally white.

History of God, Karen Armstrong (Ballantine Books)

Page 159:

Politics is not extrinsic to a Muslim's personal religious life, as in Christianity, which mistrusts mundane success. Muslims regard themselves as committed to implementing a just society in accord with God's will.

She's trying very hard. She's looking at his book, his face, the book. It's not a perfect fit but she's trying hard not to make assumptions. He takes up more than one seat, and he's comfortable doing so. She's stuck in the middle. On the other side of her is an elderly gentleman sitting across the row from his wife. She's already asked if they would like to sit together but, No, dear. Poor circulation. We prefer to sit in the aisle. She rotates her ankles and looks at the book again, glimpses the page: "Politics...Muslim...society...God's will." She swears she can feel this guys pecs rubbing up against her shoulder. She has to pee. She turns to the elderly gentleman, Excuse me. Nothing. Excuse me. Sir? She may as well be talking into gelatine. She leans back into her seat, suddenly cramped. Pecs has expanded, taking advantage of the few moments she wasn't "all in." She shoots him a look, wondering if his tan is meant to cover pock marks. She feels badly. She had acne. She shouldn't make fun. After all, it hasn't hurt Brad Pitt's career. He looks down at her, smiles, Dudley Do-Right chompers. She smirks. His eyes twinkle. Oh god, no. That's not what she meant. He slouches, relaxing his legs, his column of a thigh stretching out, taking up space under the seat in front of her. The elderly man's head lobs onto her shoulder. The plane begins to taxi.

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