Strangers Waiting for a Train That Never Arrives

The other day, I was at the 2nd Ave F station, and there was one of those unintelligible announcements over the intercom. I asked a woman standing nearby if she understood what was said, and she didn’t. So I said I would go upstairs and see if there were any signs. When I came back, the woman—who was about my age and sort of attractive in a thin, hippie way—was looking for me. Suddenly I realized that I was taking charge of this situation, and she was depending on me for information. I told her what I had found out, which was that, due to flooding, the F wasn’t going to Queens, and you have to transfer to another train at 34th Street.

After a few minutes, still no train, another announcement came on. It was still nearly impossible to decipher, but certain parts of it sounded distinctly different from the sign I had read. The two of us both decided we’d take a cab because there was no telling when/if a train was going to show up. She offered to share a cab, but my apartment was a little out of the way of her destination, which was 6th Ave, in the 50s. It occurred to me that she was probably stunned and grateful that someone actually bothered to talk to her in the subway. Perhaps I imagined that she was also somewhat attracted to me. I’m really not so narcissistic as to think this about every strange woman I manage to talk to, but her manner indicated a certain amount of hope and desire.

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