To my right on the bus yesterday, an old woman with one wrinkled palm open, writing invisible words on skin with her finger. To my left, an elderly man makes tiny chops at the air with his open hands.
Across the aisle, a young Indian woman, exquisitely dressed and made up, an expectation of deference in her look. She pouts her ruby lips, pushes her brows together, and shakes her head minutely. I look around, is she talking to someone else? No, her eyes look inward. She mouths silent words; piety, disgust, shock, seduction, in miniature expression across her face.
The doors open, and I get off. A man sitting alone at the bus stop claps his hands together, loudly, deliberately. Once, twice, three times.
The signal has been given.