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August 18, 9:15 a.m.
B Train – 7th Avenue to 42nd Street
Two teenage males sit in an almost impossibly contorted position, tucked into those cloistered seats on the B and D and F and V and R and N and Q and W trains where no human being can possibly fit his legs in the appropriate slot. But these boys have managed to not only sit but to create a bed, folding their bodies into a 3D jigsaw puzzle. One wears giant sunglasses, a do-rag and checkered vest, all coated red. He rests his head on top of the back of the other boy, wearing a white A-shirt and jeans. His brown baseball cap, adorned with a golden crown sits askew and covers his face as he sleeps, his head resting in the lap of his friend.
It is difficult to tell what is happening here, but your reporter’s mind jumps to this: they are lovers – adoring, young lovers – who unfortunately can’t share that love with those around them. One finds some romantic comfort in thinking they’ve been riding the train all night, perhaps for days, weeks, sitting in this seat from Brighton Beach to the Bronx, and then hopping on the train back. They hold hands subtly under the brown hat, more resting on each other than moving. Their stillness is interrupted only by the undulating roll of the train, and once, by the boy on top. He sits up briefly, wipes his nose, and places his hand back beneath the brown cap, laying his fingers on the other boy’s, and refolding their bodies into one.