Jessica Gross

Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Subway Fail

In people watching on April 2, 2009 at 10:42 am

I never mastered the art of reading a newspaper on the train. I’ve mastered the fold — I can get the thing down to a sliver — but it’s the opening, the folding of the front page to access page two, that stumps me.

Today, as I tried to make that first fold, my arms got carried away, as if they were commanded by a different brain. I nearly punched the man seated next to me in the face. He flinched, withdrawing from my newsweapon.

“Sorry!” I squawked. He smiled; all was well.

But I was embarrassed. Real New Yorkers can read the newspaper on the subway. As I got off, I apologized again.

“No worries,” he said. “It was funny.”

“I have depth perception problems,” I said.

Depth perception problems?

Bottom line: I need to practice the first-page fold. Maybe even in front of a mirror. (And never say “depth perception problems” again.)

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Reading Big Books on the Subway

In people watching on September 22, 2008 at 5:50 pm

I’ve been reading Atlas Shrugged for the past few months. (I am a slow reader.) My copy of this book is about a foot tall and five pounds. At first, when I read it on the subway, I was embarrassed — what was I trying to do, prove something? “Hey, passengers! I bet you thought I was illiterate. But I’m not!” I tried to be inconspicuous by laying the book on my lap and hunching over it like a dying person.

But as the months passed, I grew proud of the feat I was accomplishing. Yeah, I was reading Ayn Rand! Check me out, subway! I started whipping it out while standing, right in other passengers’ faces. This was even better, because I was reading while balancing.
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Hogging the Stall

In people watching on September 18, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Back to bathroom etiquette.

In a restaurant restroom with two stalls, I was waiting in line. I was not waiting patiently. I made throat-clearing noises to notify the pee-ers that I was there. Minutes passed.

Then I saw it: a shadow of two hands texting on a Blackberry on the floor of one of the stalls. This woman wasn’t even going to the bathroom — she was texting! Texting!
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