Paper Marshallogue [EXPERIMENT] – Day 12

He laid out a brand new pair of jeans on the bench beside him. Pleased, he folded them up neatly and returned them to this stiff, plastic bag. He caught me watching as he did this. He smiled slightly.

He continued, removing a second pair of pants from the bag. These weren’t jeans. These were cargo pants. He stood up and held them in front of his thin legs. This was the first station on the train line, so there was space but not many people to admire those pants. I stole glances as I pretended to read.

I didn’t see him remove the third item from the bag. Before I knew it, the boy was wearing a skin tight, short sleeved jacket. He zipped it up and pulled down the hem at the bottom, smoothing the material across his chest and stomach. He was a small boy, skinny, but probably born nine years ago.

No one else shared these moments with him on the train. He rode alone.

Along with his other purchases, the boy had picked up a new cell phone as well, a brick phone sheathed in plastic. He drew it out of the newness, quickly discovered how to activate it, and promptly took shots of himself with the built in camera. He must have especially liked his new jacket. And I liked that he did.