Volume 24, Number 2

While riding on the rails

The passenger across from me—a tattooed 3-tour-of-Iraq former US paramedic—is boasting how his 2-year-old can take apart his Kimber, “He can almost put the damn thing back together.” He beams as he discloses that the Kimber’s one of many handguns that he keeps inside his home. “You have to be prepared,” he says. He reaches overhead. He drags his duffle bag onto the seat. The muted sound of metal kisses wood. He opens up the bag—there’s two padlocks and a combo. He thrusts his hands into the waiting maw. After several breathless seconds, he extracts a pack of gum. “Chewing gum,” he says, while fastening the bag. Then he heaves it back into the overhead.

—Chris Fradkin