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  • I got on the Broad Street Subway the other day...I don’t remember where I was going, but north. I’m a creature of habit and I always go for the sideways-facing seats, nearest the door, if there is availability. No rhyme or reason, I don’t think...just habit.

    I plopped down and faced the doors across the aisle. I could see my reflection and that of those near me. I guess maybe I sit there to watch the show without being too obvious. I dunno.

    I turned my head left and a beautiful young girl was sitting in the first pair of seats facing me. I couldn’t get over how beautiful she was. Her skin was flawless, coffee with cream and you could almost feel how soft it was just by looking. I can’t remember exactly what she was wearing, but she was right on target, fashion-wise.

    Nothing she had on was loud or showy, but everything fit her well and if I had to name her style, I would call it “classic”. Her hair was in a tight, shiny bun...her accessories were not over done. I think she had on a short sleeved, well-fitting sweater and pants that weren’t having sex with her.

    I looked away, but kept glancing back. I couldn’t contain myself.

    “You have beautiful skin! Your whole...(I waved my hands in front of her)...thing! You’re just gorgeous!”

    She smiled graciously. “Thank you!”

    After getting that out of my system, I was able to look away. I glanced over at the seats across from her, at about my ten o’ clock, and a middle aged woman was smiling at me. I smiled back. “You, too, ma’am!” She chuckled and nodded and looked back out her window...where I know she can’t see anything but reflections.

    A young man, swollen from needle use, my guess, came through the door from the other car, begging loudly. I judged him up and down. Sneakers, high end and pure white. Shorts, even higher end and clean. I stopped at that point, shut down, went inward. The beautiful girl reached into her bag and gave him a banana. Someone in a seat behind her offered another bag of food. The middle-aged woman and I didn’t budge, but caught each other’s glance again. No smiles, but no frown, either. Just eyes meeting. He stood there for a few more moments and then shouted “Thank you, folks...thank you...any little bit helps...any little bit.” He waited a few more uncomfortable moments...and then moved on down to the next car.

    I looked out the window at my own reflection.

    The train pulled into the next station and I let out a loud and involuntary, “Oh my!”

    The doors opened and a young, shirtless, very hairy-chested and heavily tattooed skate-punk boarded. Inappropriately underdressed, but delicious, nonetheless. He was staring right at me when the doors opened and he didn’t have to be a lip-reader to hear what I said. He stood right next to me in the space between the doors on the opposite side of the train. He balanced his long board in front of himself and leaned on it. I watched him in the reflections and he watched me. We pretended we couldn’t see each other. The middle-aged woman and I caught eyes again and we both giggled and rolled our eyes like schoolgirls.

    I was sorry I only had two more stops to go.

    Just then, an elderly, very scruffy, very thin, very silent woman came shuffling her way to the doors, readying for her stop. She turned her back to me and I saw her t-shirt. It read, “Sshhh...Ninja’s Are Everywhere.”

    I muttered, “Oh, this is too good...I gotta remember this!” I pulled out my phone and snapped a few shots. I was trying to get Skate-punk in the shot, but he was leaning out of view and if I tried to angle, I would have been way too obvious (as if?!). The car stopped and the very old woman who really could have used a banana or a bag of food got off. The doors shut. Skate-punk was smiling right at me and we didn’t pretend we couldn’t see. We took turns shrugging.

    My stop came and I looked at the middle-aged woman just as the doors opened. She was smiling, much brighter. She told me to have a beauuuutiful day and we both started laughing. As I got off the train, I turned back to all three of my riding companions and waved.

    “I can’t believe this only costs two dollars!”

    As the train pulled away, I looked back and everyone was smiling...much brighter.

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