Thursday, February 01, 2007

Stranger 032

Mustache slips through the doors of the 1 train just as they slide closed. He looks crotchety and tired, so I explain the premise of Stranger-a-Day and ask to take his photo. He nods, grudgingly, waits for me to take three or so shots, and then winks.

I stare.

"A journalism student, eh?"

I hate this question. It seldom merits the full explanation: "Well, not technically -- Columbia doesn't have an undergraduate journalism major, but I work on the newspaper and I do hope to be a journalist one day. I'm actually an architecture major. Why? Well..."

I feebly attempt to stammer out a response, "Well, not technica... I mean, I would but..." and then give up.

"Yes, I am."

He winks again.

"Well keep that up. We're losing all our serious journalists. There's no real news anymore! The government wants to stop people from telling the truth. It's just... well, you know."

Even when he's talking, his mouth stays buried under his mustache. It's fascinating.

The doors open at 116th Street and I signal that I'm getting off. He pats me on the back as I slide past him.

"Stay strong! Don't let the government get to you!"

I grin and head for the stairs. God, I love New York.

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