random train encounters: downtown to the bronx13 Apr 2017
earlier this week, i was riding the train in nyc with some colleagues from grand central out to our office in the bronx. i had another random train encounter. long story short, it was great.
i ended up sitting next to a dude on his way to the hospital with a $20 speaker from the dollar store. often i get annoyed when people are playing loud music on the train, but i’ve been trying to change my attitude about that. i’ve mostly been trying to shift it because of how white spaces tend to be dominated (often harmfully so) by silence more, but also because i think we could actually have really fun cultural experiences on trains if the norm were music and engagement instead of silence and individualist experience. anyway…
the guy and i started talking and he played mostly older hip hop that i didn’t know.
soon, a little kid and his dad decked out in yankees gear got on. speaker guy asked a couple of questions about the yankees to the boy, but he stayed quiet. i made a few goofy faces at him and eventually he bit. he asked where i was going, who i was with, and eventually about our favorite games. that really got the conversation going and we talked about pokémon, yu-gi-oh (and the best cards, including the egyption god cards, the dark magician, exodia, etc.), and some new games i’d never heard of but that were the little guy’s favorites.
the little boy asked what street i lived on and that’s when things got a little tense and funy. his dad stepped in and said that he shouldn’t ask strangers that. and then the little guy said the best thing: “well, how are i supposed to see him again if i don’t know where he lives. i can tell him my address!” and then all three of us adults said “woah woah woah, you definitely shouldn’t tell strangers on the train your address!” i added, “you should only tell you address to people you know and trust.” he, brilliantly, wisely, shot right back, “but what if i trust you now?”
just as i said, “well, sometimes it’s nice to make friends but sometimes you just meet someone once and then you say goodbye.” coincidence. maybe. either way, we said goodbye and the dad-son pair got off the train.
my friend to the left played the reason by hoobastank and then just as he started to play eye of the tiger song (the reason), it was his turn to get off. we shook hands and he got off.
i closed my eyes and hung in the glow for a while.
for so many reasons, random train encounters really do give me hope.
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