This post is a literary snapshot from my daily life.
He stood in the center of the train. A shapeless, army green jacket hung limp over his shoulders. The pockets were torn open and his fingerless gloves squeezed a plastic container of fried chicken under his right armpit. Her music was blaring to drone out the people and noise of the day. Like most of the other passengers on the train, she kept her head low, partially to avoid conversation and the cold temperatures. Almost everyone was preoccupied with their own music, a book or staring at their shoes. Eye contact was strictly forbidden according to the unwritten etiquette of riding on train car 136.
She glanced up when the man started speaking. He seemed to be addressing everyone in the train at once, daring someone to look at him in the eye and deny him his wishes. He held onto his fried chicken like a metal post and kept his steady stance despite the tossing of the train. She could not make out his words because she kept her earbuds in, but she couldn’t help meeting his eyes. They seemed to implore her to listen, but she didn’t know if etiquette rules would allow her to listen. Her hesitation lasted for a long moment and he finally dropped her eye contact. He moved down to the other side of the train to implore the passengers for money.
I give him money? I would rather give him food, but he already has food. I don’t know. She hesitated and lost her moment to share a bit of kindness to a stranger. I must remember not to hesitate, she thought as she stepped off the train.