Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day: Two Scenes

8:20 a.m. School Cafeteria
"Tony, it's time to go upstairs."
"Please, Ms. Armstrong, just two more minutes."
"Tony, the rest of the class is waiting for you. Let's go."
"Two more minutes. Please. (Scans the cafeteria, then whispers.) I'm trying to find a valentine."

6:15 p.m. On the 4 train
Crammed next to each other on the crowded train are a woman in her mid to late twenties and a woman in her mid to late seventies. The younger woman is carefully lacing up red satin ribbon in a criss-crossed pattern on a silky black corset. She finishes lacing it, under the watchful (and seemingly disdainful) eye of the older woman, then ties a bow at the bottom before trying it on over her little black dress. She sees that she has laced it too tightly, so she begins the process once more. She does this two more times before attaining the perfect fit. Upon closer observation, the older woman is smiling. Was she disdainful of the length of time taken up by preparation, rather than the public display?

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