Friday, December 09, 2005

Misadventures on the metro

chapter 4

Talking on the metro is totally taboo, although pressing your body against a complete stranger on a packed car is acceptable. This morning the “zipped lips” policy was blatantly violated and the results were staggering.

A poor guy with an injured knee and crutches boarded the cram-packed metro car (snow does wacky things in this city). He said, “Excuse me,” to a man occupying one of the seats designated for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. The seated man, who frankly was not far from senior citizen age and therefore legal occupation of the seat, shuffled a bit and before he could respond, a woman pierced the morning silence, “He asked you to move. You’re sitting in a seat for the disabled. You need to get up.”

The man shot back, “I am aware of the situation - I heard him and if you’ll just give me five seconds I’ll move and help him get to the seat.” Exasperated and red in the face, the man gathered his things, got up and squished against the nearby passengers to allow the injured guy to sit.

As quickly as it began, the exchange was over. Time seemed frozen for a few moments before the silence crept back. Business as usual was interrupted and those who witnessed the event were forever changed. Life doesn’t choose when to teach its little lessons – it just happens. And today, all within ears shot of the conversation learned this: when riding the metro, keep your mouth shut.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Holy crap... that's classic. I love riding the metro just so I can experience little gems like that.