An arms’ length away, a bubbly girl of about 6, gleefully riding this Manhattan-bound N train with her father, had engaged him in a round of “I Spy.”
“I spy, with my little eye…” she chanted. She hadn’t perfected her indoor voice yet. The passengers around her smiled into their books. What word had the letter E? Which ad featured a yellow flower?
Then something startled me. “I spy… a purple coat!” Inadvertently, I had caught her attention. “I spy… pink shoes!” She smiled innocently as she deconstructed my appearance with a critical eye, and I, imagining her unrestrained powers of observation, hoped for a little mercy. Her father, a most reluctant participant, turned his face away but continued to indulge his little girl with responses.
When his inability to guess became too much for her, it was time to reveal my identity. She nudged her father and pointed at me, looking me directly in the eye. Her father silently groaned and focused on counting the remaining stops.
His daughter, triumphant, moved on to the next round.
“I spy, with my little eye, someone with yellow teeth!”