April 28, 2011

Cello Lady

The other night I hopped on a northbound A train at 42nd street. As I stepped on and picked my seat I glanced over my shoulder to notice a woman rolling her eyes, pissed that I had taken the seat she obviously wanted. Not giving a shit nor feeling especially gallant I sat down and pulled out my book. There were plenty of other seats. She sat across from me holding a cello upright, obviously closer to some street person than she had hoped. She got off at 181st.

Yesterday, I was standing on the platform at 125th when I noticed I was standing next to the same cello lady wearing a red dress (sans cello). She glanced at me with that look of "Do I know you?" I smiled and said, "Weren't you on the train yesterday with a cello?" She smiled and said, "Yes," and then stopped smiling, obviously remembering that I was the dick who took the seat she wanted. There was an uncomfortable silence, so I broke it with, "I'm a big fan of the cello. The Bach cello solos are some of my favorite music." She returned with a raised eyebrow, a look of doubt and a short , "Really?" I said, "Yeah, I have a special bond with Bach, we were born on the same day." Her eyes lit up and she replied, "Me too!" I said, "Get the hell out of here." Smiling broadly she said, "March 21st, that's amazing...." I said, "Yep, first day of spring, How crazy is that?" I reached out my hand to shake hers, "I'm Stephen." She replied, "I'm Leigh."

Just as the words left my lips the train arrived and I jumped on. As it pulled away I didn't look back at her. Then I realized that in my haste to leave this odd conversation I had jumped on the wrong train.


I saw this and couldn't help but wonder whether three people sat on this stoop drinking coffee or if one person drank three cups over a period of time (and was too lazy to toss the cups in the trash). I obviously have way too much time on my hands to ponder such things.

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