On my BART ride to work this morning I encountered an interesting juxtaposition. On a big black duffel in the central aisle, reading a paperback copy of Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums, sat a young guy with matted dirty blond hair and a scruffy beard. As he read, he tugged absently at a strand of hair and seemed totally at ease, and unaware of the attention he was attracting.
Standing next to him was another young bearded man, logging in to his Wells Fargo account on his iPhone.
The 8:17 AM train to SFO from 19th Street in Oakland is usually pretty crowded, but this morning there was a graceful respect shown to the man reading Kerouac. And as I watched him read and play with his hair I felt a longing for his life, and sadness that my own life is really more similar to the man checking his bank balance.