Saturday, May 29, 2010

So You Say Nothing

Oh my, what a busy Saturday morning.  Food shopping, cooking, did some laundry and hung it out.  Gosh, I'm drained, but the good thing about it is, I have two days to recuperate rather than one.  We're kind of cloudy and cool today...a bit breezy with the threat of a storm...and then tomorrow it will be right back up in the 80's.  It's been so up and down this spring.  

(People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.")--Joseph Fort Newton

Although I always have a book in my hand on the ride to and from work, I like to people watch...but not in a way that's noticeable.  It's usually a short glance or a longer gaze out of the corner of my eye.  One finds that when you ride the the same the same time each begin to notice that the same people are always there.  Sometimes, you smile and nod at each other; perhaps you even say 'good morning."  And sometimes, when you really, really get to trust each other, you might even carry on a conversation...but only small talk.  You never expect to be let into someone's life.

So, we sit back and we begin to wonder, to imagine what their lives are really like.  Take the woman with the fiery red hair.  She always looks so sad.  I wonder what makes her life so unhappy.  Does she need a friend, you wonder?  You smile, and she nervously lowers her eyes.  She's not ready. So, you say nothing.

Then there the chubby little man in the business suit...always reads the New York Times. He is so rude. Morning after morning, you watch as he pushes and squeezes his way into a seat which is way too small for him...the others are noticeably squished.  He never says excuse me; he never says thank you.  He acts as if he  entitled.  Is he like that at home, too?  Does he rule his home with an iron thumb?  Is it either his way, or no way at all?  Then, one day he squeezes in next to you, and you can't even move your arm to turn the page of your book...but you say nothing. 

Perhaps he should get together with the lady who is always dressed so primly dressed...her dark hair pulled straight back and always in a bun.  She always frowns. I wonder, 'why is she always so angry?' And you will keep wondering, because you will never ask. 

And, of course, I cannot forget the young couple who spend their ride touching, hugging, and kissing like they can never get enough of each other.  Dare I tell them how inappropriate they are?  I think not.  There is already far too much anger on this train. 

A group of noisy teenagers get on at the next stop.  You try to read, but you cannot concentrate.  Do you say something?  Then, you remember that you were once a teenager...and you used to laugh and have a good time on the way to school.  They're doing nothing but acting normal, so you say nothing. 

(Acceptance of others, their looks, their behaviors, their beliefs, bring you an inner sense of peace and tranquility--instead of anger and resentment)--Unknown

And, one day when you are least expecting it, someone will sit next to you and in a short time, you will know what they do, where they work, about their family...etc...but, this person is usually a stranger...someone who feels comfortable confiding in you because they know they will never see you again.  It's easier that way than opening up to someone who you know you will see the next morning.

And as for my regulars? Those people I see every day?  We may not ever speak, but just knowing they are there adds a sense of unity.  I may never know their names or what they do in life, but they have become a part of MY life subway family so to speak. 

And why this post?  I don't know.  Sometimes I sit down with something in mind...and something altogether different comes out. 


  1. Oh God, Mary, I have not been in the subway in ages but your post brought it all back. I so love the way you describe things! I love the "chubby man who thinks he is entitled" You are too much! I love it! I sincerely hope you decide to write a book someday, you have so much to say! Anyway, hope you get to relax and enjoy the next 2 days. The weather is crazy, I've been working in the garden and it felt so humid my skin felt like a piece of gum :0) Bye! xx (been fooling around with my Blog button, how do you like this one?)

  2. Lovely post Mary ty your posts are always very thought provoking. Hope your weekend was great x x x once i was shopping inthe supermarket and noticed a woman close to tears i went up to her and offered her a hug and she accepted gladly, i never did ask nor did she say why she was upset but i know she was glad of the hug :)

  3. Guess who's finally back....

    I need to take some time to go back and read all your wisdom, I've missed it.

    But it's odd to read this post. I think of movies with scenes of people doing just what you describe. The country life I've lived is so different. The short time I lived in Grand Rapids Michigan, I learned people living in the big cities have a different culture. I'd walk past someone on the street and say hello, a normal thing to do in my life. But oh my, the looks I'd get when I did that, like they thought I was going to mug them or something. Kinda sad really.

    I love your way of telling about life in the subway Mary. Stay safe and know not everyone is like that. And keep sharing with us..

  4. Mary, you should know that you don't need a "reason" for all or any of your insightful posts.

    All gave some...

    Some gave all...

    May you have a peaceful Memorial Day!

    Gentle hugs...