Odilia Rivera Santos
Riding the train from one end of the 2 line to another, you see a little bit of everything: Haitian church goers, Hassidum, Wall Street executives and protesters following their footsteps, young families headed to the lesser known nooks and crannies of Bronx neighborhoods and me.
As I sit peacefully thinking about what best to do with the hundreds of pages of writing I've accumulated, I glance to my left and notice a woman immersed in a book. I think of how many bits of information her brain must ignore to accomplish the task of following a plot.
I return to the New York Times to read an article about drug cartels and their control of a town and extortion plots and I imagine many must consider legalization of drugs to be the best option.
There would be a transition period while drug dealers get used to wearing suits and not carrying a gun while they visit hospitals, buying hospital staff monthly lunches to insure when a sluggish patient needs a crack sample, the grateful workers will reach for their brand of crack.
I fold the paper neatly to peruse later. And wait for the show.
On the train, there's always a show.
A Chinese woman walks into the car, pushing a cart. She plops herself down between between reader and writer.
We look up and make eye-contact, above the head of the Chinese lady, like synchronized swimmers.
The Chinese woman fidgets and lunges at the map and sits down again all the while exuding a diversity of funk heretofore unknown to man.
But you can't make assumptions.
She might be completely sane and have no sense of smell or she may have ingested some herbal medicines, which can make one smell like a donkey for a couple of hours or she might have some physical malady.
We, reader and writer, stand, again synchronized, and bemoan our seatless state during a non-rush hour rush hour.
The Chinese woman, her mission accomplished, unpacks some things from her cart and luxuriates, having inherited a whole subway bench to herself -- a rare event in a city where size 24 often crams into size 6 slots.