Subway Lady

Subway Lady

She sat across from me just to the right in the half empty subway car. I noticed her during the scan I perform with each stop. (I have to know if anybody crazy gets on). On first glance, I could see myself being with her. With great posture, she exuded a quiet confidence that I have always dreamed of.

I imagined her name was Radiance or Melody. My pet name for her would be Sweet Stuff Ray Ray. Or Melly. I’d call her Smelly when we were kidding around. Careful not to stare, I kept her in my peripheral vision while pretending to read the Dr. Zizmor ad above her.

Her pocketbook was placed inside a shopping bag on the floor between her legs, nice and neat. I thought how considerate of her not to use up seating space for her personal items. At this point, I close my eyes because they landed on her too long. It was nearly 3 AM, and I felt I might be perceived as stalking her.

I couldn’t help it, the more I saw of her the more I wanted to see. Not a lot of make-up. Her hair, while not totally in place, you could tell she had hooked it up earlier in the day. After doubling my scan to twice between stops, I noticed her earbuds and the ipod, Radiance/Melody seemed to be searching for a particular song. When she found it, she tilted her head back, closed her eyes, and gently kept time with her fingers wrapped around her ipod.

I resisted the temptation to pull out my camera and take her picture. It was then I saw that the time she was keeping corresponded to the song I was listening to. I told myself if we were listening to the same song I would propose to her immediately. My inside smile was spilling out as I closed my eyes again and thought what my move should be.

What was needed was a non-creepy intro, but nothing was coming to me. I decided to just give her my card before one of us got off the train. When I opened my eyes, she was gone. So was the subway car, and in its place was my clock on the nightstand.

William Stephenson

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