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Taking the Bloor Subway East

Heading east on the Bloor subway line a woman is hunched over reading a paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice.

Set against the iPod earphones she’s still plugged into, her bookish attentiveness seems somehow dissonant, like stumbling upon a Canadian television program while living in the United States. As she reads, her fingers unconsciously trace the contours of her face, and when she dusts the tip of her nose with her thumb and forefinger, a smile slowly emerges, her mind sparking and flashing, now moving faster than the train.

The subway stops and the doors open. Suddenly, the smell of band-aids, and then the doors close and we’re propelled forward again through the tunnel. An older woman sits down, rests her head against the windowpane and closes her eyes. Seeking peace, she could be anywhere—remembering the horse she rode as a child, playing with her sister in her parents driveway as a girl,

or maybe that feeling of being asked to dance for the very first time, of Bob Hendry’s hand leading her out to the center of the gymnasium, the dots of light scattering on the dark floor in front of her like the plot to a life she could never imagine– everything unknown and waiting before her, everything leading to now.

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