Thursday, December 09, 2004

Freak on the T

There was this weird guy sitting next to me on the T this afternoon. I was staring at the ground and notice a pair of canvas shoes next to me that are so patchy with filth that I honestly thought they were sewn together out of scraps. I look at the guy attached to the shoes. Shapeless blue sweatshirt, pasty skin, Unabomber eyes - hell, Unabomber beard. Youngish, wearing a backpack. He's got a camera in his hands, sort of casually in his lap. The camera lens is mammoth: about 3 inches wide and 4 inches long. It's covered with bits of brown packing tape.

There is an old guy with neatly parted white hair (you could see the comb tracks) and a bow tie across from Young Kaczynski, reading the New Yorker. Somewhere around MGH, YK takes a picture. He doesn't hold up the camera or use the viewfinder, but just depresses the shutter with it in his lap.

I start to wonder if he has some reason for taking pictures of the old guy. I think of one of the international relations profs at CMC who used to ride a bike to school in the 1980s because of the KGB. I think this is nuts. YK takes the full roll of film out of the camera, labels it, and puts it in a vial. He reloads and puts the camera back in his lap.

We go another stop and this time, as we are pulling in, YK lifts the camera six inches off his lap and takes another picture, this time off to the old guy's right.

This is freaking me out. I don't care if he's thinks he's a spy or is stalking the old guy or what. If he takes another picture I am getting the conductor. But he doesn't. And I get off. And the train leaves, with YK still on board.

(I asked a random staff member if you are allowed to take pictures on the train. She says not.)
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