Exhausted and angry at being held up so late in office for a stupid mistake of a superior; finally I was abroad the 8.02PM, the last express train to Princeton.
About 20 minutes into the journey, a man sitting right across me gets up and opens the bathroom door, I look up and think this compartment has a bathroom, not all of them has one, going back to my Blackberry, intent on clearing the backlog of unread mails.
My attention was broken again shortly; as the man pushed the sliding door to step out of the restroom clutching a small backpack, gave me a perplexed look and went to occupy the opposite window seat in the same aisle. I returned to my blackberry and suddenly realized “Hey wait a minute, wasn’t the man empty handed when he went into the bathroom?” I looked up sharply, but he avoided my gaze and displayed signs of nervousness, stealing furtive glances around the almost empty car and clutching his bag closer to his chest.
His behavior perked me up, and I looked at the man closely, thirtyish, straight black hair and black shifty eyes, no facial hair, average height, slightly built; wearing regular worn out jeans and a collar less Tee, exposing a large birthmark on the left side of his neck, slightly darker than his brown skin and caterpillar workman shoes. He looked Hispanic, but definitely not a mid-eastern or Asian, Thank god! Instantly ashamed at my internal profiling
I get worked up when things don’t fall into their logical place; was he a Mule doing a drug pickup, maybe a gun runner, or it was just a “finders’ keepers” thing. Multiple questions started swirling in my head. Or was I just mistaken?
My job involves a lot of attention to detail and I mostly don’t miss much; one thing I was absolutely sure of was that he was not carrying that bag when he went in.
At this time the trains usually run almost empty and probably might only had a couple of conductors on the whole train, I kept glancing at him, he surely acted like someone who knew whatever he was up to was not legit and above-board.
But then was it legit on my part to judge a man on a single action or his presumed nervousness? He might have a perfectly reasonable explanation!
Then I noticed the sign on top of the door that said “SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING”