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Mind the Gap

Hustling people weave between each other like strands in a tapestry. Constant movement and sound; the music of London Underground. Laughter mingles with sounds of conversations in many languages and the grinding metal and roar of trains. Wind gusting through open end windows stir well-kept hair.

Those in the know march down escalators on the left, dart between lines without a glance at the signs. The rest of us check signs, confirm District vs. Circle, look down and deal with personal boundaries being pushed and clutch handholds with the lurches and leans of the train. Even when you learn it it’s different when you don’t live it. Up this escalator, down that one, keep to the left and on and on.

The polite offer up seats to the aged and women, I just stand and leave open seats to whatever fanny finds it. This business of bouncing around in a tube underground isn’t my style. I’d favor walking whenever possible, as I do in New York or Boston. But you can’t argue it’s efficiency. Countless thousands of souls pulse below the streets of London every day, re-emerging above ground in places far and wide in an endless dance. A tourist, I do the dance with two left feet compared to the tango veterans on display. But I don’t mind, I just dance on the edges and mind the gap.

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