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Trapped inside the train 0

Dear Bradshaw,

            Hey buddy, my apologies. It’s been almost two weeks since my last letter. Some friends from California were here and I was busy visiting monuments, fountains, museums, eating in restaurants and walking around Rome.

            Speaking of California, Francesca and I will be there in a couple weeks unless this Swine Flu situation takes a turn for the worse. The latest news reports suggest it isn’t such the pandemic they thought it was but still, you never know. In fact, while I was on my way to work one morning last week, I was waiting for the subway and when it finally arrived, I saw that all its cars were jam-packed. Luckily, as it was slowing down, four teenagers started toward the door and after the train stopped, the doors opened and the teenagers got off. I climbed onboard and headed toward the place they’d been standing, and then two other teenagers suddenly decided to get off, bumping into me on their way out. I watched them exit and, after the doors had shut, saw them join the other four. The train started forward and while we pulled away I noticed that one of the teenagers had her head buried in a trashcan on the platform. She was vomiting while two of her friends supported her by the arms, and it occurred to me then that she was either severely hung over or, however less likely, suffering symptoms of Swine Flu. Meanwhile, there I was trapped inside the train, breathing the air she’d possibly contaminated with a debilitating virus.

            I eyeballed the expressions of other people in the compartment. They were calm, relaxed, as if people puke their guts into public trashcans everyday. I considered getting off at the next stop and waiting for another train but figured it was too late. If she was infected then I was infected. I don’t know how long the quarantine is but ah well, whatever, right? Nothing to do about it now. What’s done is done. Cain killed Abel. The Romans crucified Christ. And that girl may have murdered me with Swine Flu. Whatever happens, I hope you’re healthy and hanging in there. See you soon… maybe.

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