I’m lucky getting a seat next to a young, exhausted mother of three, thirty if she’s a day, covertly nursing her infant beneath a Hello Kitty baby blanket. She has one arm around him, her free hand on the stroller holding a tired two year-old while a chubby girl of five sleeps beside her. My heart automatically opens thinking, how beat they all look because I’ll bet the baby keeps them up demanding to be fed every few hours.
I can barely get myself out of the house with my zipper up and shoes on. It makes you think.
Then a tiny Asian girl gets on who in her shortness can’t reach the overhead bar. Every time the train lurches or picks up speed I think she’ll fall into the stroller. Her balance is admirable, but my fear finally wins out giving her my seat.
She in turn smiles so big it might bring world peace.
I then feel something sniffing my back. It’s a Yorkie in a MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) tote bag sticking his little nose out.
“Oh hello…have we met?” The owner, soldered to her iPod, misses the whole encounter.
A middle-aged woman expensively dressed getting on at 33rd Street, immediately starts cooing over the fat five-year old.
“I just love your hair…all those little daisies. How fun.”
The kid shoots her a priceless look as if to say, “Fuck you lady and the Bentley you just stepped out of.”
I know, if she had a fancy car what would she be doing on the subway? It’s New York folks, and the train is the fastest way to travel, especially at rush hour.
I like the kid’s hair too. Her mother gave her a half dozen braids with daisies on each end making her look like a pouting potted plant.
What’s really evident despite the mother’s apparent exhaustion is the love she has for her children.
When I finally get to Spring Street I have enough characters for a one-act play…or at least an essay.