Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seen and Overheard

Sharing sidewalks and crowded subway cars with other Manhattanites is humbling, entertaining and cause for turning one into a germaphobe.  On a crowded morning 6 train a woman stood next to me engrossed in Bill Bryson's NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.  As if she was alone in her kitchen she stuck a stubby, nail bitten finger into the back of her mouth and unsuccessfully tried to dislodge a piece of food stuck in her tooth.  She sucked on her finger before removing it and replacing it on the subway pole.  A few seconds passed before she made another attempt.  Think of something pretty, clean and fresh I told myself.  Before I could get a cleansing thought in my head someone next to me hacked a bronchial cough.  I shuttered.  Soon I was out in the cold, CLEAN air.  On a street corner waiting for the light to change I overheard the following exchange.  "They call it Whole Foods, but it's nothing but nasty.  Everything tastes bad.  It's all bland.  Even the soda is nasty."  Walking through Central Park I saw an old couple, bundled up in coats, scarves and hats, reading.  They weren't waiting for a bus or a lunch date, they were just quietly reading their books on a park bench as if it was a beautiful, warm spring day.  Ah, Manhattan.

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