People who ride the train every day as part of their routine learn to accept public displays of mental illness as just the price of admission. It’s often annoying but so what.
This morning was no different. As the train became crowded, a shrill voice of protest rose amid all the other sounds. Proclamations regarding past grievances or current protests are common on the train. But this one was different because it was fresh – four months old to be exact.
This person – as are most other riders – was a young woman of color, who apparently couldn’t, for one more second, contain her outrage and fear and sadness and frustration at the death of another loved one. While in police custody her brother had been shot and killed. Four months ago.
She continued at top volume. It was difficult to hear. There was a kind of sad revival meeting quality on that train car as everyone inside quietly affirmed their support for this woman’s loss. It was their loss too. Police killings are just part of the tapestry of life.
What’s amazing to me is that this kind of display isn’t more common.