Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's Late and I Don't Really Know What This is About

Occasionally, while riding on the subway, I feel like I must be in a movie. Tonight, on the way home from the West Village, was one of those nights. There was a woman trying to hide the fact that she was crying hysterically and repeatedly looking at a text message on her phone, a man getting very angry at his girlfriend who kept squeezing a zit that was on his neck, a couple with the amazing coordination to make out and grope each other without falling down as the train jolted to a stop every two minutes, two street musicians arguing over who got to play and sing in the space on the N-R-W platform, a woman whose six- or seven-year-old son was translating all of the conductor's announcements into Spanish for her to make sure they got on the correct train, and a few more notable people who seemed more like carefully developed characters than people I was sharing a train with for 20 minutes.

I kept waiting for the camera to switch scenes, giving me vignettes of each of these people's lives. But in the movie, as opposed to real life, all of us would be connected somehow and by the end of approximately two hours, I would be walking out of the dark theater into the crisp autumn air that somehow arrived in New York just today, with a great feeling about community and circumstance and a greater meaning for everything in life.

Instead, before I know it the train is nearly empty, the conductor is calling "last stop" and I am avoiding eye contact with the other passengers as we quickly exit the train. No stories, no answers, no changes or growth or crescendos or climaxes or anything. Just a quiet walk home and my thoughts.


Jim said...

You know what they said, you learn something every day. Teachers come in all shapes, color and styles. You meet a great teacher today, tomorrow you will learn form someone else. Love Uncle Jim

Mom said...

Isn't the train excellent! I miss riding the Metro (okay, maybe not) and getting all those tiny glimpses of small pieces of character personality traits. I'm in the public Library and a guy at the next computer (wearing headphones) just burped and all the rest of us are trying not to laugh out loud. Who needs the Metro.