My ice cream was melting. Standing in front of Weil Medical College of Cornell University, I calmly turned my ice cream round and round, licking the errant gobs of pistachio that threatened to spill onto my fingers. My transition lenses darkened quickly in the sunlight, but I was still relatively cool, blasts of air conditioning escaping the heat-sink as people passed through the glass doors. Down to the last inch or so of the cone, I stepped out of the shade.
Screeching as the station approaches, the subway moves to a halt. The doors open, and a muffled voice is heard overhead, announcing the train, direction and next stop. I can never fully hear the words the person is saying, but I don’t need to, having traveled this route countless times before. It’s crowded, and I find myself grasping the cold metal bar along with five other people, our bodies far enough from the pole so that others can get a grip. Six hands of strangers stacked one on top of the other, occasionally touching another as the subway slowed and quickened its pace.