Little lady on the Skytrain


He noticed an old lady with a face like cracked leather poking people. She had a gold ring on her finger and a gold necklace with a little Buddha hanging from it. Her hair was thinning in the way old ladies’ hair thins and he could see the shape of her skull. She chewed at her bottom lip like there was tobacco in there, but there wasn’t. He thought it was odd that she was poking people. She did it the same way a five-year-old wanting attention would.  Each person she poked gave a little snarl, but wasn’t distracted enough to look away from their phone.

He gazed out of the window, past the advertisements, and watched Bangkok whip by. Crane – palm tree – crane – palm tree – crane – station, and so on. The lady poked him so he looked down at her, because she was 5 foot tall.

“Why’d you poke me?” he said.

“[something in Thai he didn’t understand]” she replied.

“Thanks. I think. You know – I don’t actually understand what you said.”

“[something else in Thai he didn’t understand]”, she said, seemingly frustrated, and pointed towards the sky. He followed the direction of her finger and looked at the large cloud hanging over a half-completed building.

“Rain?” He mused with questioning intonation.

She nodded and went back to poking people.

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