When I lived in Brooklyn my favorite part at the end of each day was riding the D or N train over the Manhattan bridge. In the pink twilight or pitch black that ride was magical. I like walking to work now in my current life, that I live in a small place and I can walk almost everywhere. But sometimes I miss that train– the rumbling, the anonymity, coming out of the dark tunnel onto that bridge with the lights twinkling on the water and the sky fading over the buildings.
One time on the subway I was suddenly sad and started crying. I was in college then, and had just come from a particular class that penetrated an emotional wall I didn’t quite understand. I couldn’t hold it in– these big bawling sobs were just pouring out of me. I didn’t think anyone was paying attention because crazier things than a girl crying happen on the subway all the time. After a while, a woman sitting across the car got up and walked over to me. As we pulled into a station, she handed me a packet of tissues, smiled, and got off the train. I was so stunned my crying stopped. Inside the tissues was a note.
I saved that tissue packet and note for a long time. It was one of my most human experiences.