In a Station of the Metro

Slowing into Metro Center on the subway today, I was thoroughly engrossed in Cryptonomicon, so I was a little taken aback when I glanced up and saw a guy staring right at me with a goofy smile on his face. I thought maybe my fly was open, but then I noticed that he was pointing to the book he was holding: Cryptonomicon. How long had he been standing there, pointing at his book, waiting for me to look up?

“Looks like we’re at about the same point,” he said as the commuter current washed us out of the train and toward the escalators. “Randy’s in Japan where I am.”

“Yeah, I’m not quite that far,” I said. He kept looking at me expectantly, so I figured I’d better say something else. “Tryin’ to get through it before Quicksilver comes out.”

He nodded fervently. “Me too, plus I need to reread George R.R. Martin. The Song of Ice and Fire series? The new one is coming out there too.”

My face must have registered only vague familiarity, not actual knowledge, because he brought us to a stop and frowned gravely. “You need to read them. It’s the most important fantasy ever written.”

Before I could respond (I was waffling between “Shhyeeeah!” and “Kwuuhuh?”), we both realized that our Orange Line trains were about to leave in different directions, and we parted ways without another word.