I ride the subway in the office on rainy summer days with much agony. I am one of those crazy people that would rather start off my day sweating my way up and over the mountain with my bike, and then end it off in the same way. Something that makes it more livable (the subway ride, because the only thing that makes going over the mountain on wheels livable is sheer mental focus, did I mention I dislike bike riding? but obviously not as much as I dislike the subway). People watching! One of my favorite past times, that’s what makes the subway ride enjoyable. When I was in high school, I used to sit in the mall with my best guy friend (Franky, a bad boy with a beautiful heart and a brilliant mind) and we’d people watch together. We’d make up stories about where they were going, what the were thinking and about the general ins and outs of their lives. Sometimes, we’d even tell their future.
This morning, I was once again, privy to an intimate glimpse of stranger’s lives. A man stood by the center pole in the middle of the cart, and a woman stood maybe a 2 feet away from him leaning against the doors.
I couldn’t tell if they were together. But then I noticed him gesture to his eye, then to his heart and then to her. I love you. She gestured back to him, pointing to her eye, then to her heart to him and then raised to fingers to indicate two. I love you two. I discretely watched, floored. It was so beautiful. But then, something else happened. Tears welled in the corner of her eyes. He put his hand out to bring her his way. She stepped into his chest. I could tell she was fighting not to break down, and my heart went out to her in that moment. I have been there, in public, doing everytihng I can to hold myself together when something inside me was broken. My heart also went out to her, cheering her on because she had someone who obviously cared for her, there in that moment to support her. Priceless. Especially in the eyes of a woman who’s often been to touh to let men in that way. She went on to tell him what she was feeling, the details of which I will not share, except that she was disappointed because something she had worked so hard on her entire life did not pan out the way she wanted. I could tell he was pained by her sadness. He listened gently and intently, took all that she was saying in. He let her empty herself just the way a woman needs to do. And then gently he pulled her closer into him for a long moment. I could feel his strong loving presence. I recognized that feeling that comes from having a man step up and be there in a time of need. And then he spoke. I heard him, ever so strong, and gentle, giving her different persepectives, honoring her hard work, giving her different angles and shedding light on possible solutions, the way men do so well. Master problem solvers they are.
I was lucky to be standing right beside him so that I could witness this very private moment incognito, without being invasive. I am even luckier that it was planted in my face to remind me of my deep belief of just how amazing men are. And what makes the relationship song and dance so worthwhile, moments like that, among others. I finally, I am truly blessed to have the gift of gab to be albe to share this with you.
Magic is everywhere, of that I am convinced more and more each day.
The Montreal subway isn’t so bad after all.