hey there

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The single mother looked really overwhelmed, still somehow collected, tired, maybe a bit annoyed. She had to activate the turnstile to let the token-booth clerk open the special entry door to the subway. Her reason for the special entry was a two year old boy with a pacifier in his mouth, on a very flimsy little carriage. The child looked as if it had cried through the night.
I helped them both down the stairs. 18 steps then 6 steps, down into the smelly pit underneath the tracks.
They both were heading downtown, so I was able to help them up the 25 or so stairs up to the platform.
This was the first time that I looked at the boy. He was staring at me as if I were a really scary 20 foot man. His pacifier looked to huge right in the middle of his barely awake face.
"Hey there." I said...
"Hey there!" He answered with the exactly same intonation. It was so perfectly funny that all three of us started laughing. He turned to his mother and they were both as happy as if he had just invented two very new words.
The mother thanked me and I thanked the mother. This was a perfect start of a good day.
I still smiled when a few stations later, a fancy mother with her overstuffed baby parked her McLaren folding carriage across the train-car from me.
The boy was curious. I was still happy. The mother looked at me as if I were a predator ready to snap. She even took the little guy out of his luxury vehicle and held him as much facing away from me as only possible, laughing at him, and sending lethal looks towards me. It did not work, the boy still laughed in my direction. She had to grab his face, point it towards hers and make some semi cute sounds in her invented toddler talk.
I did not want to worry the mother more and just walked away to stand by one of the doors... Hmm... such different points of view...

1 Comment

hey there.

sooooo sad. i get those too.
like if you smile at a baby it means you want to kidnap it.
okay so fine i'm a ticking biological time bomb and i DO want to kidnap it...but i'm not actually GOING to. ;)

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This page contains a single entry by Witold published on July 29, 2003 12:46 PM.

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