Monday, March 11, 2013

New York Postcard

Last Monday, I came home late, near the midnight hour, after watching a tennis match at Madison Square Garden. I had an angry fire throat and a pesky cough. I rode the F train and wished desperately for sleep.

The train was crowded but I'd managed a seat while Tyler hung at the pole, and I stared through the cracks of coats and bags, watched as across the way, two burly passengers -- like a children's book, one short and wide, the other large and long -- smashed together into a seat like two cymbals gonging.

There was an immediate confrontation.  The two-seater was suddenly not large enough for all three: the wide one, the long one, and the bag the wide one insisted upon slapping upon the bench.  There were accusations flung.

You didn't ask if you could sit here!

I don't have to ask! 

And over and over, this is a public space, man. This is a public space.

I watched as both of them refused to move and, instead, sat uncomfortably squashed. The wide one clutched his bag beside him, stared straight ahead. The long one smooshed himself between the railing and his enemy, trying to read a newspaper.  He looked like sausage oozing out of the casing, his impossibly long arms bent and woozy, as they awkwardly crinkled the unruly pages. 

On our walk home, Tyler and I laughed at their stubborn, crunched up silence.

I would have snapped a portrait if I could.  A New York postcard.  


  1. A very interesting tale Melissa. It goes to show that some people lack manners these days and only think of their best interests.

  2. One of my favorite things about visiting the city is people-watching on public transportation. :) I can just picture this--better than a postcard. :)

  3. I think your description is better than a photo! I can see them perfectly!

  4. Could be a Chicago postcard too. I agree with Dianne & Faith. Your description is better than any photo.

  5. A postcard indeed, made with excellent words. could feel the steam coming out of the long man's head.

  6. I'm laughing at the thought of you lifting your phone to shoot a photo of them. Perhaps they wouldn't have been so stubborn after that.