Met A Man On The Train

Heading to the city for my gym class on Monday and the train wasn’t running. I realized after climbing the three flights of stairs that I should have known. When I had gotten off the bus, I could see a huge crowd waiting. According to the MTA the train wasn’t running and the booth attendant would only say the trains weren’t running. I have an app, which told me there was a police investigation at one of the stations so there were limited stops but was this information up to date? Not taking a chance, I ran back down the stairs grateful the bus was still there and trying to figure out how do I get to the city. I wasn’t the only one. I figured out I should stay on the bus and it would take me to another train line. So, that’s what I did. I shared this information with a woman and a man. The man told me he had decided not to drive today. He thought the train would be best since his destination was Chinatown. Now, he was wishing he drove. We laughed and eventually we were seated separately and I started reading articles on my phone.

With the slow bus ride I lost track of time. I felt a tap on the shoulder and it was the gentleman again. He told me this was our stop. I kicked myself for not paying attention and we continued to the train. We started talking more on the platform and on the train. He wasn’t familiar with this train line and I was so I tried my best to help him to his goal. I assured him that it is still a learning process for me since I have moved from one side of the Bronx to the other and wasn’t as confident with these buses to which train. He told me how he has only been taking using the train since he started dating his boyfriend and that he has tried to learn and remember what to use to get where. He told me since the 7 train has been not running on the weekends it has really tested his abilities but he has been succeeding.

He told me how they take the train down to flea markets and walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge. His knees are not happy about it but he has been able to enjoy the sites of the city now that he doesn’t have to watch it from the driver’s window. We talked about Flea Market Flip and the Gotham Market. It wasn’t until I exited the train at 42nd street that I realized we never exchanged names.

I have never has such nice company from a stranger on the train before. New York City’s subway system taught me to be aware, and cautious at all times. I can’t say this experience has changed me to the point where I will open up and converse with anyone but I guess I find it nice to know that the MTA’s out of service train didn’t ruin my mood or day.

He was continuing on to Union Square. I hoped he transfer to the 6 train so he could make it to Canal Street. Maybe someday I’ll see him again, hopefully on a working train and we can laugh about the odds.

Classic Number Two: Little Women

I vaguely remember the basement in the house I grew up in before it was refinished. It was dark gray cinderblock walls with workbenches, boxes, and wooden closets with canned goods. During the clean up I remember one of the boxes had books. I felt awe. I was young and seeing books that thick with tiny print amazed me. I was only allowed to pick one book from the box and I picked, Little Women by Louise May Alcott. I thought it would be about tiny women living in a big world (forgive my naivety, I was really young). I finally decided to read it because this pretty book has sat on my shelf too long. I didn’t read it all the time since the 1922 edition is fragile with a worn binding.

I didn’t love Little Women. It was a very moral based read and could be slow at times. Each chapter could stand on it’s own with a lesson learned. Now days a woman doesn’t need a good marriage to reach true happiness but it was a different time when this story was written and many lessons, like not allowing money to control you, can still apply today. Some chapters I enjoyed more than others. There wasn’t much excitement or enthusiasm behind most life events. Maybe this style or writing is what left me less emotionally attached to the four sisters. If I only read the Little Women portion of the book I may have given it four stars on my Goodreads account but I must say I was surprised when what I expected to happen didn’t.

I learned, when published, part two was a second book, Good Wives, which continues their story and this is where I struggled. The second half is where the story considerably slows downs. I can’t put my finger on what changed. Everything just seemed more mundane. The interesting bits of their lives are farther apart and gets buried. If I was going to rate this portion of the book separately I would give Part two, two stars.

I rated the book three stars out of five stars. If I ever come back to this classic I will not continue past part one.

Little Women 1922 Little, Brown, and Company Edition.