March 5, 2010: On The Green Line:

I’m sitting across from a curly-haired, older woman, completely dressed in black, who receives a phone call just as the train leaves Boylston. She says something in rapid-fire Spanish then, closing her cell phone, begins to weep. She pulls a Kleenex out out her bag, blows her nose, wipes her face, carefully dabbing under her eyes where her mascara has run.

She’s Chilean and has just heard terrible news, I decide.

Don’t be ridiculous, I tell myself, shopping in Copley Square. It could have been anything that made her cry. Anything.

I wanted that woman to cry about Chile’s earthquake, I realize later, walking through the Common. God help me: I needed a connection to that tragedy. She’s it.

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