Monday, March 2, 2009


I never ride the subway because it makes me want to hurt people and/or destroy things. I never act my my first impulse because it is frequently the exact opposite of the proper course of action.

This morning I was forced to ride the subway because of a huge snowstorm. Busses were late, trains were infrequent and densely packed. A lady right in front of me got on, and instead of moving all the way into the car as we're asked to do, she immediately set her bag down & bent over, effectively blocking all further access to the car. She fumbled with papers. She retrieved a small blue coffee cup and sipped some.

I envisioned myself kicking her headfirst into the support pole, an explosion of coffee and a chorus of gasps. I envisioned myself kicking her bag and strewing her meagre belongings across the crowded car. I saw myself taking her aside and speechifying on the importance of self-awareness and consideration for others, especially on a crowded train at rush hour. I thought of bending over as if to tie my shoe.

Within seconds I realized she was a Latina cleaning lady struggling just to get by, revised all my former opinions and forgave her completely.

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