As we boarded the train, I noticed the white of a dog collar under the man’s scarf. Yet moments earlier, I had watched as he stood at the centre of the doors, impeding the passengers who needed to alight from the train. We sat down at the same bank of seats, and during our short journey together, I found myself glancing over at him. A smile played over his lips, strangely distracted, ambivalent, a smile hinting at the kind of inner life, which, I must admit, I didn’t naturally associate with religion. He sat with his thighs spread wide, impeding people as they walked through the aisles. When the train stopped at his station, I noticed a tissue fall from his pocket, which he left behind as he stepped onto the platform. This, I told myself, was hardly the behaviour one would expect from a man of the cloth.

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