The Subway

Watch a group of people do exactly the same thing – board a subway car and look for a seat, for example.  Describe each individual in a sentence or two, using a different verb in each sentence.

                Author’s note:  I’m doing the subway thing without observing it first.

                The doors open at a busy stop in Lower Manhattan.

                A small girl gingerly steps on board, keeping a firm grip on her fathers’ hand.  She tentatively looks around, trying to spot the nicest person to sit beside on a train full of strangers.  Her saucer-wide eyes suggest she doesn’t find the person she’s looking for.

                A teenager carelessly strolls through the open subway doors without looking up from his smartphone.  He senses an empty seat nearby and glides into it like figure skater doing their best move, paying no attention to the people on either side.  His head never raises from his gaze at his phone.

                An elderly woman struggles her way onto the subway, her cane shaking under the weight of her worried hand.  She peers through the crowd to find a seat that she can easily get into, hoping that someone will have the generosity to give her their seat nearby.  A young man does, and she passes him a greatful smile as she carefully lowers herself into the blue seat.

                A woman carrying a baby lugs herself on board and desperately looks for a seat, glad she’ll be able to sit down for a few minutes before getting off at another busy stop.  Her whole body is sweating under her winter jacket and the weight of the baby, but she knows she has no choice but to carry on.  She plops into a seat and exhales like she had been holding her breath for years.

                A business woman prances onto the train with her sensible shoes and her brown leather briefcase.  She quickly takes position in the middle of the train, leaving the seats to the elderly and the less considerate.  Her gaze seems to fall on nothing, clearly showing her mind has not yet left the bustle of Wall Street.

                Lastly, a man who has seen nothing but dark streets and garbage lately creeps onto the bus, hiding his face from the crowd.  He knows what they’re thinking and he does in fact care, but he has to work his way up from the streets and taking that subway from Lower Manhattan up to the Bronx is the only way to get to that job his brother set up for him.  He keeps his hands covered by his long sleeves to hide their dirt and their shame.

                I sit there, watching all of this, listening to the Beatles, which provide the soundtrack to my life and everything that happens in it.

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