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With quite possibly the best public transportation system in the world, New York City contains hundreds of train stations. Many of them are located beneath the city’s surface. As useful as these commuters may be, they are at most filthy and disgusting! Infact most travellers would describe these stations as a nuisance and some can just about barely tolerate them. While others call them home.

Yes homelessness is not surprising to most New Yorkers. The homeless blend into the scenery along with the graffiti and garbage, barely acknowledged by passers by. However, certain events elicit irrepressible emotions that refuse to be ignored. Particular occurrences evoke pity and fear even in the toughest New Yorker. Pity for the unfortunate human being forced to play a bad hand dealt by life and fear of that fact that no one is immune to homelessness.

Train after train passed by, yet she did not rise from the cold bench. Her unkempt greasy dreadlocks cascade over her slumped shoulders. The woman has her arms folded across her chest, shielding her waiflike body from the wind. Her jacket bulges out at odd angles, and a backpack is tucked securely between the woman’s legs.

After careful observation and a thoughtful analysis, it becomes apparent that in her backpack she carries her prized possessions; this detail is given away by the way she guards her backpack, as a protective mother would over her children. Perhaps the most subtle clue to the woman’s plight is her body language; her slumped shoulders signify a hopeless existence, one that can only be brought about by living in an unsanitary and dirty train station with rats as roommates. She has nothing but her own body heat to warm her at night. The woman is not going home to a hot meal and a warm bed; she is going to stay at the dirty train station, day after day because she is one of the many homeless people in the world. One of many.. but also alone.

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