The Beauty and the Beast

Last spring, I sat across from a man on an old train car where some of the seats still face forward. Winter refused to end until it suddenly did, so everyone on the train was stubbornly refusing to dress appropriately for the temperature in protest. The older man across from me sported a beaten fedora that settled wearily onto his head in a way that it never could on, say, the head of a mid-20s brand manager sitting with his legs crossed nursing an Old Fashioned in a Williamsburg loft. The man clutched a brown satchel in his lap so tightly I could see his fingers turning white. As we made our journey I imagined a whole backstory for him and his satchel, which I might have turned into a novel if I was a completely different person.

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