Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recent Subway Encounters: Two Poems

Two diverse NYC subway events:

A disheveled young man stands in the middle of the car
He asks our forgiveness for interrupting
His voice is tired
He tells us he is homeless and unemployed
But he has a job interview at a restaurant the next day
He's had a run of bad luck
He's been sleeping on the subways
"They don't let you lay down, so you can only get about four hours of sleep."
He'd like to get a shower and some sleep
But the cheapest hostel he can find costs $38 for the night
Anything we can spare
He's had food poisoning recently and had to go to the hospital
That just about wiped out all his money
He stands by the doors in the middle of the car
Not moving
He's not experienced at panhandling
The veterans know to keep their pitch short and simple
Then move through the car, asking each passenger
Some of the more desperate stand in front of each rider for several seconds
This young man just stands waiting for us to come to him
Two or three people get up and give him a dollar or two
He gets off at Union Square

A young actor from a recently cancelled TV series
(Andy Mientus, Kyle from Smash)
Gets on the train with a woman friend
They chat and find a seat
I debate with myself if I should say something to him
As I reach my stop, I go over to him and say "Hi, I was so sorry when your character was killed."
And I'm not lying, I was.
He says "Thank you" with a smile.
I exit to have lunch with a friend

I know I stopped blogging about Smash several episodes before the series ended. I will write a wrap-up once I can bring myself to watch the season finale.

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