Saturday, January 27, 2007

Riding the train: insecurity

The other day I was riding the train home from work and saw someone sad although I don't think she knew she was sad.

The person was a young woman. Hunched over a makeup bag in her lap, her blond hair hung awkwardly in her face as she tried to put on eye liner. Incredibly self-conscious, she wasn't applying it because she thought she was pretty: she felt like she needed it. The pencil bounced precariously near her eye as the train jostled back and forth. Still she persisted. It seemed as if it were an addiction, that if she applied just a little more makeup to her already heavily made-up face it would do the trick. It was heartbreaking to watch. But what could I do to help her? I had an odd, helpless feeling as I got off the train and watched it speed on into the night toward its next stop.