i am balancing my book, bag and coffee in my lap while munching a bialy with the other hand when the #2 train stops. people go out, people come in.
‘hello’ a bright girly voice with an exotic lilt says.
‘..’lo’, a deeper hesitant manly one answers. possibly smiles have been exchanged because the manly voice becomes more corageous.
‘what, ee your name?’ he asks
‘oo, thank you very much’
‘what is your name?’
‘yeah right. you’re no Mike’
‘where you come from, mike?’
‘i, i … europe. further from ocean. …eee, you?’
‘oh i am from West Indies. you know?’
‘close enough. you always talk to girls on the subway, Mike?’
‘you is very pretty. pretty like…eee, like apple.’
i finally gave in to my curiosity and broke rule #1. never look at the others on the subway. i looked as much as i dared. my vision could only catch her strong chocolate calves and his manly black shoes covered by gray pants ironed to death most likely by the dedicated wife that morning. they were flirting on the dirty subway floor. i was not sure why.
‘where are you going?’
‘i go to…work.’
‘where is work?’
‘manhattan. …i live manhattan too’
‘oh that is niicee. what language do you speak’
‘german, dojch, i speak german’
the “german sprecher” had an Albanian highland accent, three inches thick. but the West Indian girl acted duly impressed.
they continued their surreal conversation until the train stopped and they got out. i finally got a chance to see the owner of the love struck voice, a tall man in his fifties with a careful combover and a hooked nose. he climbed the stairs one by one, like it was almost too painful to move properly. the girl climbed aside him, also carefully swaying her hips to his tempo. for whatever reason, i thought that they had already become lovers in the time it took for the train to go through 8 stations. then i thought that i should start adding milk to the coffee. better gaseous than delusional.