Manhattan Beach: A Novel by Jennifer Egan:
The train rounded a corner, and everyone’s arms dropped as though a string holding them aloft had been cut. People left quickly to make room for new travelers boarding the train across the platform, new loved ones sending them off. Anna stayed where she was, watching the empty track. At last she climbed the steps to the concourse, turning sideways to let soldiers and families rush past. A novel awareness began to assert itself: there was nowhere she needed to be. Just minutes ago, she’d been rushing like the people on those steps, but now she’d no reason to rush or even to walk. The weirdness of this sensation strengthened when Anna found herself back on Seventh Avenue. She stood in the twilight, wondering whether to turn left or right. Uptown or downtown? She’d money in her pocketbook; she could go wherever she wanted. How she’d craved the freedom of not having to worry about her mother! Yet it arrived as a kind of slackness, like the fall of those waving arms when the train turned.