Monday, July 25, 2005

Subway Under The River Kwai

This morning on the subway, I stood across from a dude decked out in Army dress uniform. This was pretty surreal in itself, because you usually see a group of soldiers, not a solitary one, let alone one riding the subway.

But I get on, stand across from him, and notice that although he's very young, his uniform is decked out with medals. If I had any idea what they meant, I'm sure I also would have been impressed by his rank.

So what's my thought, upon seeing this brave soldier? "Man, I really hope he doesn't try to talk to me on the subway."

So what does this brave soldier do? Talk to me on the subway.

The worst part of it was, I was standing with my back leaning against the door, and he came over to ask me whether this train went to 42nd Street. I said it did, and that should have been the end of the conversation. Except, he didn't move from where he was standing. Here we were standing about half a foot apart, and not looking at each other.

I felt like I should ask him something about his medals, where he was going, what the war was like, but honestly, I just wanted to drink my iced coffee.

Then I finished my iced coffee, which he took as an opportunity to talk about bag checks.

Then the train ground to a halt, and we painfully stood there staring at each other for about five minutes.

Finally, I got off at Grand Central, wished him luck finding the D Train, and head off to work.

Self-actualization questions:

- Am I just a snotty New Yorker?
- Should he have moved back to his original standing space after asking me about the trains?
- Do I have personal space issues?
- Should I be more interested in the brave soldiers who defend our country?
- Did I secretly think maybe he was falling in love with me?

The answer to the last question is most definitely "Yes."