I sat next to this fellow on the train this morning—I was in the aisle seat, he was in the window seat. I noticed he was reading a Hebrew text softly to himself, and occasionally kissing somthing he took out of his pocket.
I soon became immersed in my own Good Book (an excellent new biography of 19th-century burlesque star Lydia Thompson!). I eventually noticed my seatmate was standing up, gazing down at me expectantly. “Oh, I’m sorry, did you want to leave?” I asked. He nodded, and I stood up so he could go.
Now. Is there some religious reason why he couldn’t talk to me or tap me on the shoulder? Or was he just mute?