Riding the A train at 5:00am it pulls into the 42nd street station and stops momentarily, but long enough to allow a transit cop to enter, poke his night stick into each of the five men asleep and quietly sharing the car with me, and then leave. I have been the only one awake, getting on a few stops earlier, cautiously watching my sleeping companions. All are black from the dirt of being homeless. Awakened, the men sit up and stare at me, but as the train begins to move, their bodies again give away changing their seats back into beds.

The recorded voice first says something in Korean and then, "The next station stop is Kaya. Kaya. You will exit on the right." A Korean man pushes me aside and makes his way to the door. Another sitting down gets up and before following the other makes a gesture inviting me to take his seat. I sit and watch. The many faces are staring into space as if I'm in any other country. Then a few stare over at me and I somehow feel exotic.

- James Benning