This was originally posted on May 28, 2017, at 5:00 PM on blogger (this was also the last entry posted there).
Last Monday, I was on my way home (to my actual home, not the dorm) after my first, and painful final exam of the semester. I needed to get my eye drops from my mom. And even though it was one of those days of near continuous rain, I was excited because I was at last finished with U . S. History class, and for the home-cooked meal I knew awaited me.
My excitement started to dim, however, upon entering the subway and hearing the announcements about train delays and rerouting. But I took it in stride and decided to stick with the messed up train line rather than walking in the rain to another station.
A few stops before Bowling Green, the last stop in Manhattan, the conductor made an announcement informing us that we wouldn’t know whether or not the train would be heading into Brooklyn until we’d gotten to the stop. I, and many of the other patrons on the train, were not pleased. So, as I mentally cursed at myself for my laziness, I got off of the train and planned my next actions. I knew I could transfer to the train I needed at that station, I just didn’t know where the train was. But as I adjusted my bag and prepared to ask someone for directions, someone approached me instead.
“Hey,” the person said. “Are you trying to get to another train?” Or that was the jist of what he asked.
I said yes, told him which train I needed and asked if I could take his arm after he offered to assist me. As we walked, we talked, about writing, irritation with the train, school, the city. It was fun (well, as fun as a meandering journey through a big train station can be). But it was a nice, normal conversation. He even gave me a few suggestions on how to get into freelance editing.
There was one point, near the end of our interaction, that I thanked him for not taking on that patronizing tone people tend to use with children. He may have thought it a little odd, but took it in stride. I don’t encounter many people, strangers in particular, who talk to me as though I’m a normal person. It’s usually “you’re so brave…” or “I can’t even imagine…” or, even when discussing school or occupation, there’s sometimes a condescending air about the person. It may not be intentional but its there.
But that’s not the point of the post. With the many irritating experiences I rant about, I like to acknowledge the good or entertaining moments (like my letter to Margaret and Roman or that time a waiter acknowledged me). Even if they seem simple or silly. It’s nice to know that, despite what we’re taught as children, there are some cool strangers out there.