Thursday, April 28, 2011

Subway Flirtations?

As observed on an uptown 4 train:
Credit: Ryan Uhrich

She: Late twenties/early thirties, black coat and scarf, heels. Wearing headphones and nodding along to whatever she's listening to.

He: Late thirties/early forties. Suit. Standing about 10 feet away, apparently studying her.

The Play:
She's nodding along to her iPod, and he's watching. She nods, even sways for a few minutes, and then looks over—seemingly randomly. Their eyes meet. She turns back to face the track. He sneaks glances at her.

Train pulls into the station. She boards (apparently, she's a camper). He makes it a point to board through the same door, though there was one closer to him.

She takes a seat. He sits across from her. Their eyes meet again. This time he offers a small smile. She does not. But she shifts in her seat.

She pulls out a magazine, and looks up, and then away. Puts magazine down next to her. Adjusts her coat. Removes her scarf. Puts it into her bag.

Meanwhile, neck slightly inclined, he's shifted to see what she's reading. Takes out a newspaper, folds it, and appears to read an article.

She picks up magazine, glances at him. Flips it open, and reads.

He sneaks a glance.

She sneaks a glance.

He sneaks a glance.

She sneaks a glance.

This dance goes on for about four stops.

He put the newspaper away. She glances up then returns to the magazine.

He leans forward, seems ready to say something. Train pulls into the station. He exits.

She looks up as he steps onto the platform. He glances back.

Doors shut. Train pulls out of the station.

Maybe they'll see each other tomorrow.


  1. Pass the Gauloises. These moments are like the outliers of quantum entanglement on a human scale. Without physical contact or communication, each party is affected by the existence of the other.

    The train pulls away and the moment is lost.

  2. Kandinsky, it is always a pleasure when you stop by. "Pass the Gauloises" is absolutely apropos for this moment.

  3. I think this is a great description! It's interesting that he chose to sit opposite her, that's a great way to make eye-contact but not at all a good way to open a conversation (people standing in the way?). Still - like you say, maybe they'll see each other again tomorrow.

  4. I admit I'm tempted to take this particular line again to see if they have run into each other. This "encounter" to me represents the ebb and flow of NYC perfectly: we flit in and out of each others lives so easily here, I wonder how we really impact the people who pass us.