Sunday, March 15, 2009
Riding down to the UWS an old Hasidic man entered the subway train at 181st St. He wore the traditional attire: black suit, white cotton shirt, black felt hat. His clothes hung in folds from a tall, bony frame. His greasy white hair stuck out like straw instead of hanging in a frame of side curls beside his face. His ankles showed bare beneath his trousers and his feet disappeared into worn black leather shoes. His right hand trembled, drawing circles as if endlessly screwing in a light bulb. He sank to the subway seat, his eyelids closing above sunken cheeks that dove into a scraggly white beard. With his left hand he reached across his belly and cradled his right. With this comfort, the right ceased its endless motion and all was still in the solace of sleep.