One Friendly Stranger on a Train

Preface: The transit task force is close to fine-tuning recommendations, and next meets October 25, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at White Plains Public Library. The public is invited to attend, and will have an opportunity to address the group prior to the session’s conclusion.

This post shares how, following an afternoon at New York Comic Con 2013 — where I walked to excess, talked as much, and thought the ride home would be silent — one friendly stranger capped my adventurous day.

That M42 cross-town bus took forever to arrive at the corner of crawled in the early evening traffic Sunday; I was happy to be sitting, finally, even if it was on the bus step. After walking to the Javits Center from Grand Central Station to enjoy the sunshine, and because I had lots of energy, my legs were ready to call it a day. No seats on the bus didn’t deter me, however.

Not sure why I exited one stop early; I took it as a sign that I had more walking to do, and probably more, since I had six minutes to catch the next train to North White Plains. I walked into a car and slumped, exhausted and happy.

A young man with a small bag and a larger bag with the most delicious-smelling food walked into the car and sat opposite me. We nodded at each other just as the conductor announced that the front two cars would open for certain stations. The young man wondered aloud if he should move to those cars now or wait, then looked at me and asked, “Unless you don’t mind me sitting here?”

That statement began a lively conversation about people, and life, and what’s important. He was on his way home from work, after a long day, and had bought dinner just before boarding the train. “I’m happy to be relaxing,” he said, opening his soda. He was at a party recently, he told me, and someone asked the DJ to play “The Gambler” (written by Don Schlitz and recorded by Kenny Rogers). The DJ didn’t know it. “That song has important lessons,” he said.

His station was approaching, and he needed to move to where the doors opened. Smiling, he said goodbye; the meaning behind his words remained.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2013

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