On The Train

It’s 4 p.m., not quite rush hour, yet the car is packed.

I miraculously get a seat, so happy because now for the next 20 minutes can blissfully read.

A young mom with a little girl maybe 5, is squished against the doors, so I smile and invite the kid to sit next to me even though we were already like sardines in a can.

The woman on my other side, who has an Upper West Side look as if she worships at the altar of Sylvia Plath with her tweedy clothes from another era, reading her New York Review of Books, sneers at me.

“Come on, she’s little,” I say, not to mention cute as a button in her white tights and Mary Janes looking a bit bewildered holding her mom’s pant leg for safety.

As I read with one hand behind my back like the Venus de Milo, cramped but determined to finish my chapter, I see that my bookmark is from the children’s section of the library I’m privileged to belong to.

I say to the kid, “Do you like to read?”

She doesn’t answer, but her mom does, with a nod.

There’s also a handsome Latino man in front of me I assume is the dad, smiling as I give the little girl the Babar bookmark.

She clutches it like a treasure looking up at me as if I were Santa, while Tweedy next to me shakes her head unable to suppress a smile.

When my stop comes, we all get off, except for the man.

I look over my shoulder, forever the cub reporter and say,”Aren’t you coming too?”

He smiles, shaking his head no.

It was then I realize, I had gotten it wrong.

He was just a reader too.


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 Amazon.com. Thanks.
This entry was posted in Books, Culture, Family, grace, humanity, humor, inspiration, kids, Love, New York City, parents, readng, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to On The Train

  1. Dale says:

    I think he was just smiling at the beautiful scene in front him him…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wonder how many “just a reader” people there are in the city. Seems to me you cracked the shell of the snooty woman on the train. Guess I shouldn’t read too much into it. It might cause a SCANdal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, I just read that each act of kindness tends to get passed on. We already knew that, but I like confirmation. And perhaps you should think about becoming a matchmaker.
    Schools in upstate New York are now emphasizing reading more than I saw just seven years ago. Grade schools have reading programs beginning in kindergarten, and middle and high school study halls begin with fifteen minutes of reading. I love walking by the cafeteria study hall filled with silent students bent over open books.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Barbar was my favorite character as a kid. I’ll bet that child will have an awakening as a result of your kindness, Susannah.


  5. aFrankAngle says:

    Simply more evidence supportive my belief that the majority of the world is good. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Doing good for a little girl is wonderful. I am glad she got to meet you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorryless says:

    To sit at the right hand of a next generational bibliophile is testament to the precious gifts you reap when you get lost inside those pages. Just another something that could never have happened with a smart phone, πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Patricia says:

    Your story made me smile. All the folks on the train were winners. My Daddy took me to the library every 2 weeks from the time I was about 5 until I was old enough to go on my own. Been going to the library ever since.


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