On the West 4th Street train platform, I waited.
I waited with other people.
I watched an older woman in a fur coat attempt to throw a folded
newspaper section into a nearby garbage can.
Or, more accurately, she hit the can, but it bounced off the top and
landed on the ground.
Time slowed to a crawl.
I detected in her a movement away from the trash can as she looked at
the discarded paper at the base of the receptacle. Her body language
indicated that she did not feel like stooping to pick up the paper and
attempting to redeposit it in the bin.
But then, mid-movement, she noticed I was watching this unfold with
interest, and her body movement altered and she did what I thought she
was not going to do.
She picked up the paper and successfully dropped it into the trash.
I am convinced that my observation of the event altered its outcome.
I realize that I have given this incident perhaps one hundred times
more thought than the woman has given.
Nonetheless, it was fascinating to me, regardless of its lack of
importance in the grand scheme of things, and I felt compelled to
share the experience here.
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