A Subway Angel

by tully
October 12, 2006 6:14 AM
3 Comments
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Something rather wonderful just happened to me. I was making my way back to Brooklyn after watching a rough cut of a friend's documentary (absolutely fascinating, though a bit more work could make it even better). I had to get off a train at one stop in order to change platforms, due to construction. As I was ascending the stairs, two striking girls walked past me. No eye contact was exchanged. I proceeded to cross over and settle directly across from them. Though both were attractive, one of them was an Absolute Angel. When she smiled, I felt butterflies in my stomach. Let me put it in another way: her smile was so captivating that she distracted me from the M. Night Shyamalan book in my hand. I know, but it's true. Though I tried not to look up, I couldn't help it. At one point, I turned around to catch my breath, and when I turned back around I was met by both sets of their staring eyes. Like a timid kindergartener, I looked down and away. I returned to my book, but stole glances every chance I could get. At this point, I wasn't even worried about if I was connecting with her or not. I was simply trying to process if she was as angelic as she seemed, or if this was some random underground fluke. Of course, I considered actually walking over there and saying hello, but there's a reason I make movies (i.e., I'm too much of a pussy to live them).

After about ten minutes, their train finally came. Through the window, I saw them board, then disappear. But after only a few seconds, the Angel reappeared, sitting in the corner seat facing the head of the train. She was only visible from the nose up. At that point, I felt safer in devoting my full attention to her, perhaps because she was so obscured. But then, as the train began to move, something happened. She looked directly at me and waved. I waved back. When she saw me wave, her eyes lit up and she ducked her head out of sight. And then the train was gone.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Or, rather, I know what you think I'm thinking. I'm thinking that these girls spotted me and thought I was abnormally cute. The whole time they were talking, they were talking about me, about how hot I was, even though it looked like they were talking about something else. I know they were talking about me because every third time i looked up the Angel was looking back at me. Her farewell wave only confirmed what I'd been suspecting all along. Her excited, giggly reaction to my wave was the final confirmation.

But fear not, dear reader, for here is what I'm really thinking. I'm thinking that these young girls (put a gun to my head and I couldn't tell you their age, but I'm thinking early twenties) saw an old guy checking them out, and they thought it would be funny to play along. Which they did. And when it came time to expose me for being the hopeless loser that I was, the Angel waved. When I waved back, her mind was blown. I had actually fallen for it.

Or maybe it was neither. Maybe it was just a brilliant, innocent moment shared between two complete strangers on a rainy, lonely night. Maybe that was all one needed to remember that life is but a lovely, lovely dream...

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3 Comments

  • rever | January 18, 2007 11:48 AMReply

    woot woot!

  • lou | October 15, 2006 2:32 AMReply

    craigslist missed connections

    quick!!!!

  • gabe | October 12, 2006 6:19 AMReply

    Your story reminds me of something Bernstein says in Citizen Kane:
    "A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl."