Susannah and the Fat Man

I was coming back from a job during rush hour on the L train, a line I never take.

There I was, squashed, in-between a woman with 8 shopping bags, and a young kid whose backpack was practically smothering me.

My mind began to drift, becoming slightly disoriented, causing me to lose my balance.

Suddenly, a HUGE hand grabs me by the arm.

A man, taking up 3 seats, keeps me from falling.  He was like a black Jabba the Hutt, with a child’s face…cream-colored, unlined…a tiny, turned-up nose, the only thing small gracing him.

People were giving him dirty looks because of the amount of space he was taking up, but hey, would it have been better to have him standing in the aisle?  He was like a small building in a field jacket.

New Yorkers quite often, especially when they’re tired, have no empathy for their fellow man.  I know all about this, since me and my lost ears are often at the mercy of the dispassionate.

But when this man moved over so I could sit, one had to smile.

The lady with the shopping bags rolled her eyes. “You’re the only one who could fit there,” she said, shaking her head.

“Hey, don’t blame her cause she’s nice and slim,” said the Fat Man, “I was that way once too.”

Shopping Bags laughed. “Oh yeah, when?”

“I wasn’t always this size…believe it or not.”

In the meantime, I’m stiffly sitting between him and another guy like a stalk of corn sticking straight up, listening, wishing I could just stand, but didn’t want to seem rude.

“Well, I don’t believe it, but that’s how I am.  Seeing is believing, and you are a very large man.”

“Okay, that’s enough,”  I said.  “He has nice manners and that should be the end of it.”

“What, you his lawyer now?”

“You know lady, I had a really shitty day and I think you should just shut-up.”

“Oh you do.”

“I think you should too,”  said another woman who had been listening.  “This man’s size is none of anyone’s concern.  And she’s right.  He’s been nothing but polite.”

That shut Shopping Bags up, and made Backpack give her a dirty look.



I smile at the Fat Man who smiles back and says,” Now don’t go fallin, cause I’m not gonna be there to catcha.”

All I know is, I won’t forget his sweet, kind face the width of the moon, with hands…

helping hands…like catcher’s mitts.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Faith, friendship, Gratitude, humanity, humor, Love, men, New York City and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Susannah and the Fat Man

  1. Coyote from Orion says:

    Glad you have posted again. Missed you. Btw… did I tell you that I used to be a bit thinner 😄😄😄


  2. micklively says:

    Good Samaritans come in all shapes and sizes. It is possible to have a big heart, whatever the thorax. Nice piece Susannah. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • He was a real Prince alright. Just can’t imagine what it’s like to be so fat. Like manning a ship, but you’re the ship.

      Liked by 1 person

      • micklively says:

        It’s just amazing what folk can become inured to. I guess it’s down to synapse function. You don’t detect constant input and it’s difficult to detect gradual change. It has to be that way. Just think what life would be like if your nervous system had to process all inputs: total data overload! It’s like wearing a hat: you feel it when you put it on but, by the end of the day, you don’t know it’s there.
        So you don’t notice if you add an ounce of weight in a day. But if you put on an ounce every day for a year, you’ve added twenty-two pounds. Keep that up for a decade and you look like your prince. QED.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess. AlI know is, the minute my shoes are remotely tight, I go on a juice fast. With a Snickers bar tossed in…:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • micklively says:

        I think a Snickers should be part of every calorie control diet. 🙂


  3. The world could use some more kind, moon-faced fat men in it. Just think, the more space they take up the less room there will be for fuckers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I’ve got to admit that I might have had some uncharitable thoughts when I saw how much room he was taking up. But I’d never say anything rude, and my attitude would have done a 180 if I saw him offer someone a piece of seat. Kindness surpasses looks every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gail Kaufman says:

    Thank goodness for the saviors amongst the savages. They are what maintains our faith in humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia says:

    Since I retired I have gained a bit of weight. If I keep it up at this rate by December I will weigh 250 pounds. Then in a year or two, I will take up three seats on the bus which would be awful because the seats are made for two people so a third of me would spill over into the aisle. Tomorrow I am going on a diet. Guess I will have to get some Snickers.


    • This is a mini essay. I can’t imagine you spilling into the aisle unless you were dancing kicking up your high heels. And Snickers, as far as I’m concerned, is a food group and required eating, up there with spinach for strength. 🙂


  7. I am thrilled someone came to your aid, since you help others so often. I don’t fault people for their size, but I do find fault with bad manners.


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