I sometimes wish I had a camera with me as I ride the trains back and forth to work during the week. A young woman who sat next to me yesterday had the most interesting, Tiffany-esque tattoos on the top part of her feet. Today, as we rode a swamped morning rush hour train (tourist season is in full swing already), I noticed an older black woman sitting near the door. She had gray hair, a white knee-length skirt, and thin white sweater. I’d guess her to be in her late 40s, and the photo opportunity here was that she was reading Thug Lover. Romance novels for black women have become quite popular train reading in the last two years, I’ve noticed. A vendor even set up shop outside of the McPherson Square metro, next to the guy who sells flowers and the other who sells umbrellas. They’re more modern than the Don Juan styled roman novels you find on the shelves of library bookstores for a quarter. And the text is much less vague.
I leaned over to catch a glimpse of the story that she seemed so engrossed in. The paragraph started like a scene in a hospital or a sleep experiment. “She looked at him. He was looking at the monitor.” Though I almost laughed out loud when I read the italicized sentence to follow, “How could his dick be this good?” I guess I should’ve expected the text to be as trite as the title.
If only I had a camera, I’d not only take a picture of this older woman reading Thug Lover, but also get in the shot the woman who was sitting next to her, engrossed in the Holy Bible.