Saturday, September 17, 2005

Off the "6"

(slow Saturday... back from the Upper West Side...)

“This is a Brooklyn-bound local “6” train,” a mechanized female voice announced. Her tone reminded me of the “Fox” anchors—detached yet seductive. I quickly stepped into the car, pressing my purse firmly to my side.

Everything about New York scared me then. Terrorism, tragedy, disaster—my reactionary news station had taught me to fear everything about daily life in the metropolis. One month on the job and I was programmed to believe in the worst. (We had the newsroom VP’s pager number just in case, rather, God willing(!), we Fox minions were accidentally at the scene, part of the calamity. “Gotta beat CNN in the ratings!”)

“Stand clear of the closing doors, please,” a stern, male voice continued, sounding like a wise uncle. The artery sealed and we lurched forward into the black belly of Manhattan.

I sat down in one of the few empty seats, crossed my ankles, risked a glance at the car. Directly across from my seat was a pair of hand-tooled, brown cowboy boots. The dark, denim legs attached were spread as wide as the back end of a set of pliers. I expected to see Robert Redford from the “Horse Whisperer” peek over the top of his Post. Mmmmm, handsome…The jumble of newsprint, the smell of the commuters’ coffee and cologne, the smooth plateaus of speed of the “6” train lulled me into a daze.

My eyes fluttered… My grip loosened…

What if I met my future husband on the subway? It could happen you know…
Maybe he’d be an expatriate Southerner like me, trying to make his way, find love, begin a new life… We might have to tell our kids a different story, though, tweak it a bit. Something more romantic.What about the “Waldorf?” Maybe we could claim meeting in “Peacock Alley” or in the Egyptian wing of the Metropolitan Museum. Yes, better, muuuuch more roman—

“Wall Street,” the sexy voice announced. “Next…”

I had missed my stop. I was leaving the island. The cowboy had left me. My purse was gone.

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