There is a woman sitting to my left, and she is staring.
I look at her, I must have noticed her attention from the corner of my eye, or from that seldom alarm-centre in our brain that knows when we are watched. But she continues to stare, unwavering, at my face, brashly continuing when she saw that I had seen her, where most would glance politely away, disguising their curiosity, their interest. I avert my gaze for the intensity with which she looks.
We are chatting with a young Greek woman, wonderfully goth and friendly, who had coaxed us into the right metro when she saw us beleaguered and unthinking outside, who invited us to sit with her and her mother, made accommodations for our baggage between our legs. ‘You should always keep them close,’ she warned us, motioning that we should bring them over from where we had left them behind the seat, describing the dangers of urban Greece as our train rumbled toward its heart, delighting too in recounting the gun crime of Crete when we tell her we will venture there after. She was a little melancholic; she had just deposited her German boyfriend at the airport, counting down the days already until when next they might meet – we sympathise wholeheartedly, recalling our own year at distance between Germany and London, where six weeks felt longer than even the longest of childhood summers… [read more