What do you see in other people’s eyes?
July 6, 2017

subway car for the blogThe subway system in New York fascinates both Darrell and me. He can’t get over how efficiently and relatively inexpensively all those people move about, and figuring out whether to take the N train or the Q is a fun puzzle. I’m endlessly entertained by the study in human behavior. I watch myself, too. It’s a peek at someone’s essence through the prism of mass transit.
Recently a guy offered me his seat the minute we boarded. “Are you sure?” I said, then immediately regretted it. Who offers his seat if he’s kidding? Nobody. So I quickly added, “Thank you so much.”

The most interesting thing about this is that I accepted his offer. It isn’t required. I’ve watched people decline all the time. They aren’t mean about it. They’ll toss off something like, “Oh, that’s okay. But thanks!” And that’ll be it.

Why didn’t I do that? I’m not sure. But I like the idea of accepting the occasional kindness from a stranger. It feels good to offer. If no one accepts? Well, you know. Still. I’m me. The whole time I sat there I was thinking, “Why do I get to take a load off while he’s standing? Why do I rate?” So just before he got off the train I kind of touched his arm to get his attention. “Thanks again,” I said. He beamed at me. The next thing I noticed was a gal across from us, smiling at me.

We hadn’t covered much ground and the events probably took fewer than ten minutes to unfold. They stick with me, though. My grandmother once told me how much I seem to appreciate everything, like it was just the greatest thing.

I loved the reassurance I’m still that kid.


photo courtesy of Katie Anderson