Subway Teamwork

Dear Diary:

In transit: on the subway.

Across from me is what looks like a very small, red water bottle with a silver thing attached that resembles the top of a wine opener, and something else I can’t make out.

I look at it. The man sitting two seats away looks at it. We all look at it. He reaches out and touches it briefly. We all feel relieved. Two stops go by. We all look at it some more, with “If you see something, say something” thrumming through our collective heads.

The man reaches out to pick it up, then changes his mind and pulls his hand back sharply. I take out my phone to take a picture of it. At the next stop he grabs it and throws it out the open door. It doesn’t explode.

But a young woman utters a small cry and runs out the door. We think it’s because of the object. But she’s just realized this was her stop.

The man sitting next to her stands up and yells, “MA’AM!”

Note to men: Women under 60 never turn around when you yell, “Ma’am!”

He holds up her laptop in its pretty pink metallic case. She’s just realized she left it and starts back toward the train. Doors close. He gestures “next stop” to her. She begins running as if to outpace the train.

He gets off at the next stop, pink case in hand, and … a rueful smile that the trajectory of his day has just changed.

Another day in motion.


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