Strangers on a Train

by Deborah Oster Pannell

I'm on the Metro North on my way to Manhattan. I'm putting makeup on my face. The woman next to me is reviewing legal briefs.

Afterwards, I put my glasses back on. I laugh, and say out loud to her, “It's always such an adventure seeing what I look like after I've put makeup on without glasses.”

She laughs, “I don't know how you do it on a moving train. I mean, I'm just trying to make these corrections…”

“Oh, you know,” I say, “you just do what you gotta do…”

And I glance sideways at her. She's not wearing makeup. And I think, I don't usually wear makeup either. Why do I “have to” wear it today? And I guess we will remain strangers, for now, anyway.