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Lost and Found   —   A New York Moment

I was sitting on the train the other night, completely engrossed in a comic book and noticing nothing else around me, when someone sat next to me and started to create a fuss with their bags. Annoyed but content to keep reading I tried to ignore the person next to me as they kept shoving their plastic bag full of stuff into the small sliver of space between our respective bodies. The bag kept falling off the seat and the person kept picking it up and shoving it between us, over and over again. Finally I let out a sigh and turn to this person to give them the look that was to say, "enough already". As I turn toward the person I see this old lady face with twinkling eyes and a really big smile. My doom and gloom frown immediately transformed into a genuine smile as our eyes met and we acknowledged each other. She didn't say a word and neither did I, so I returned to reading my book and she returned to shoving the plastic bag between us. At one point, after another shove of the bag, she put her old wrinkly hand on top of my thigh and hoisted herself up as though she herself, much like the bag, were sliding off the seat. Instead of being alarmed at this startling physical contact I smiled a little to myself and kept reading. This physical act felt comforting and tender, and I found myself altogether fond of this little old lady sitting by my side.

When her stop finally came she stood up and on her way out the door she put her hand in the middle of my comic book and tapped twice. I looked up with a smile and she too smiled and did a little wave goodbye. I think that smile of mine lasted a few more stops on the train and ultimately raised my mood level a few notches for the rest of the night. It's amazing what genuine friendliness from strangers does to me these days. I'm like a whipped puppy much too eager for a really nice pat on the head.

Posted 6.27.2006 1:55:08 PM

Mr. Space wrote:
She touches AND looks at people in the eye? Why hasn't someone set her on fire yet?
Posted 6/28/2006 11:50:26 PM
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