Bad mood but actin' all smiles... hiding the pain.. all the pain of everyone on this subway car. Add it up. Add up the collective pain of all these strangers on the L train and it would fill the East River that we are rumbling under. We walk around, going about our business, all of us hiding something. Some kind of hurt that's bleeding on the inside. A contusion. Somebody just lost their job. Someone was raped last night. Sombody's mother just died. Someone's relationship is disintegrating like a sand castle at high tide. Somebody is half-heartedly contemplating killing themselves. Maybe whole-heartedly. Maybe it's the exhausted woman sitting next to me. Face like a rotting peach, frazzled hair, slight tremor in the arm that touches mine as we roar through darkness. The guy across from me. 400 pounds, easy. Maybe it's him. Tired of being a prisoner of his body. At least 40, no wedding ring. His eyes are already dead. Yet here we all are. Going somewhere. Reading the paper, listening to Ipods, staring into space. Maintaining. Practicing the Urban Eye Slide. Are you lookin' at me? I'm not looking at you. Well, yes, yes I am. But on the sly. I look away when you look at me then you look away when I look at you. Pas de deux. Good job everyone. Me included. Way to keep up pretenses.