25 October 2004


she saved me a seat even though she didn't know who i was. shoving over down the bench, i smiled and thanked her. perhaps she could tell i was tired or that my feet hurt. we smiled.
over the crackly intercom, the conductor made an announcements to make sure we had all our personal belongings close to us, and that we should report if we see any suspicious packages to mta employees or the police. she laughed.

"that's the stupidest announcement ever," she told me, laughing harder. it didn't matter that we were strangers, twenty or more years between us, different skin colors, different backgrounds. i laughed with her. the village voice nominated these announcements and signs for the biggest waste of mta funds.

"you know, if they really want to see unattended stuff…come to the streets of brooklyn. in my neighborhood, there's garbage on the street, unattended bags, bags ripped open, crap everywhere. come to my brooklyn!"

she laughed at what i said, and told me, "and my brooklyn too! it's not just manhattan! what about our dirty streets, that's suspicious! our health is in danger!"

we laughed and then smiled. then we sat--her staring at the people, me reading a novel. and then when i got off, i knew i had another friend in another part of new york.

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