Today on the train I saw the following woman:
She was in her late forties, of indeterminate origin. Clearly a respectable office-worker type. She was one of those people immediately recognizable as eccentric. As soon as one sees such a person the only question is: what's the situation? Because there is a situation.
She thumped into one of the larger seats with a table. Right away she went into what was clearly a settled routine. Out came the purse, and from the purse most of the contents spilled onto the table. There was sorting for a few minutes.
Next, she wound her hair onto four curlers. These remained for the rest of the journey.
A series of plastic containers was carefully lined up. Yogurt, dry cereal, and some slices of fruit were deposited from three of them into a fourth, and slowly consumed with a tiny plastic spoon.
These containers were replaced in the purse, and two more containers were opened. I think they contained lunch materials. Some manipulation of the lunch containers ensued and they too were placed back in the purse.
Satisfied that she was on her way, she kicked off her shoes and took out several books as well as two pairs of glasses and a small pile of tools or jewelry that I couldn't quite make out.
The books were not read. However, she did do some minor repair on her nail polish, and I think some other makeup juju that involved a mirror and a lot of gyrations in the seat.
At this point there were twenty or so objects on the table, most of which she picked up or put down several times. At no time did she look out the window or at any other passengers.
From time to time this woman emitted a clearly audible hissing sound reminiscent of an air brake on a truck. I could not see any source for this sound or any behavior that indicated she was aware of it.
In short: LONG LIVE THE IMMEASURABLE DIVERSITY OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE and damn I am sure glad I don't share an office with her.