One of the benefits of working in Manhattan is that a 15-minute subway ride can inject a good dose of entertainment into an otherwise ordinarily dull day.
Today, for instance, I got on the A, instead of my usual route, at the same time as a man begging for help to buy his child new shoes. It actually did bring tears to my eyes: The man (allegedly) had fallen victim to a stroke that left the one side of his body paralyzed. Lacking sufficient benefits his family could barely pay their rent and utilities, and the youngest son needed new shoes. He recited the letter – along with the formatting and punctuation – that the child’s teacher sent home about his “inappropriate (underlined twice) footwear for school and winter (underlined twice), (followed by two exclamation points).”
It was hard to make out all he said over the staticky rap music coming from the man beside me’s cell phone – and his raspy attempt to sing along. I think he felt his $1 contribution to the begging family man made up for the disturbance he was causing the remaining passengers.
But I have faith that begging man will land on his feet: A god-preaching woman, who I will endearing refer to as “lunatic,” was at the other end of the car. She warmed up her prayers while he begged and by the time he made it to her performance area, she was ready to save him. Complete with feet-stomping, hand-clapping and quite possibly an exorcism, she prayed to the lord for his soul.
And I… laughed at the obscenity of my ride home. I think I’m gonna start taking the A train more often.