Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What Do You Really Want From Me?

I have one of those faces, and so people stop me to ask directions a lot. It happened again last night on the 7 train platform at Queensboro Plaza.

I try to shut off from the world when traveling. I'm not a big fan of strangers, and I don't like talking to them. Strangers are bad, nasty, evil people, as my mom used to tell me. So on planes, I listen to music. On trains, I write in a journal. On the subway, I read. And never -- never -- do I deviate. If I'm on a subway, I would never write in a journal. On a plane, I wouldn't dare read. And listen to music? On a train? Don't make me laugh. But I digress.

Last night I was reading my ever-trusty Nation magazine, when I was approached by one of these strangers I fear and loathe so much.

But I'm also unable to be rude to strangers, so if someone strikes up a conversation with me, I feel like I have to play along.

Right. So I'm in the middle of an article about how Latin America is getting all socialist, much to the chagrin of the Bush administration, when this Asian woman asks me, innocently enough, "Is the express train still running?"

"I don't know what time it is, but if it's not 10pm yet, you can still get an express."

"Good, it's not 10pm yet. What do you do?"

Shit, she wants a conversation.

"I'm a writer."

"Here's my card. If you want to buy an apartment, or if you have an apartment for sale, call me."

It takes her a long time to find her own card, while I try to figure out what my being a writer has to do with real estate. She's got a pocketful of other brokers' cards.

"Thanks."

"You must have a lot of wisdom if you're a writer."

"Well, I don't know about wisdom, but I do have a lot of thoughts."

"If those thoughts come from God, I'm sure there's a lot of wisdom."

"Gosh, I certainly hope so."

"If you have the love of God, you will be a successful writer."

"Gosh, I certainly hope that's true."

"If you have the love of God, it is already true. Express train!"

She got on the train, and I realized that this female stranger wanted three things from me in less than a minute: directions, real estate, and a conversion to Christ.

Stupid, demanding strangers.

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2 Comments:

At 12:31 PM , Anonymous binx said...

deep, bald, effective thoughts. could be my mood, but i loved this post. personal favorite.

 
At 8:56 AM , Blogger Ali said...

Can't blame a gal for multitasking.

 

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