Things you see when your ride the TTC

At Dundas West station a young black woman got on the train. She was wearing huge sunglasses which covered most of her face. No one paid much attention to her. Not until she was suddenly howling with grief.

At first it was hard to tell if she was laughing or crying as she had her head buried in her lap pressing a cellphone to her ear. When she raised her head, it was clear that tears were shaking her body. The source of her grief seemed to be the cellphone conversation—the train is above ground on that stretch of the route—but if there was anyone on the other end, they were doing all the talking.

As the woman bellowed her pain, people began to give her sideways glances. They seemed unsure it was a genuine display of emotion. It was the sort of grief one normally only sees in movies when an unhinged widow throws herself on the coffin. She appeared to be one step away from rending her garments or tearing out her hair. She rocked back and forth in her seat wailing and clenching her fingers.

One person several seats away asked, “What’s wrongwith that woman?” but nobody approached her. She was left alone with her drama. The only time another passenger reached out to her was when a scowling and heavily wrinkled woman with scraggly grey haired piled under a scarf  poked her on the shoulder. She did not ask her if she needed assistance but instead made a hand motion that said, “Quiet down. You’re making too much noise.”

Her crying continued for several stops and I assume continued long after I got off at Runnymede.

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