Yesterday, an older black gentleman entered the Metro car armed with a staff - not just any staff, but one that looked as if it had been decorated in stages - it evolved into various brass fittings, symbols, a white fur band, several decorative carvings, and, a cylindrical crystal at the top. With the exception of a strap meant to fit over the shoulder, it looked almost ceremonial.
I complimented the gentleman on it, then asked about its significance.
"It came from a tree where three men were hanged," he said stoically. Taken aback, I kept silent, got off at the next stop, and left him with his testament to man's inhumanity.