I don't think there is any question that New York is a strange place, full of strange people and strange happenings. I also don't think there is any question that this city is full of surprises and magic. Sometimes the surprises will come swooping in when you least expect it and often times you endure the daily grind just patiently waiting, hoping and knowing that there is magic in this place waiting for you to discover it and be open to it.
Magic. Surprise. Patience.
I like all of those words very much.
I was sitting on the 'A' train a couple of nights ago, listening to my music and getting lost in my own thought bubbles, completely unaware of those around me. Then this man sat down next to me. He ripped me right out of my own thoughts and brought me back to Earth...and by Earth I mean the 'A' train (if that counts.) The first thing I noticed was his cologne and while it was rather strong and a bit overwhelming I really liked it (maybe because I really like men's cologne or I am simply used to people sitting next to me on public transit and smelling like dirty diapers and goat cheese... it's a coin toss, really.) After I got over how good he smelled the strangest thing happened...I suddenly felt so connected to this stranger. Like somehow he and I were friends. There was this level of comfort that you so rarely feel sitting by strangers on public transit in New York.
He and I were very different though. He was quite a large man, covered in tattoos of Buddah and flowers, wearing a news cap and a t-shirt and jeans. I was an average size girl, with a small tattoo of a mouse hole and a Shakespearean quote, wearing green tights, a multicolored dress and cowboy boots but I felt like I knew him and we were the same.
We were both headed downtown. We were both in the same train car. We shared the same bench. We were both traveling alone. And we were both living our lives in that 15 minutes...together.
I didn't want to know his name. I didn't want for us to be anything but passing strangers on the 'A' train, going to where we were going but anonymously together.
I was intoxicated by this encounter for a good while after.
The next day I was overcome by technological woes and the overwhelming angst that comes with being unemployed and confused in New York. I scheduled an appointment at the Mac Store to solve the tech woes, popped my computer in my bag and sat on the train into the city feeling so disconnected to everything around me. I felt so outside myself. A feeling of loneliness welled up inside of me until it let itself out in the most embarrassing way.
I full on ugly girl cried at the Genius Bar at the Mac Store. It was uncomfortable for the genius, for the other customers and myself. The guy helping me was rather confused as he had just informed me that my computer was fine and that all I needed was a new battery. And I insisted it wasn't the battery that was making me cry, it was this empty feeling inside of me that I just didn't know what to do with. (Note: I didn't tell him I felt empty inside. Full on crying at the store maxed out my crazy card for the day, so I just told him I was really tired...stop judging me.) After I emotionally assaulted him I put my computer back in my bag, went outside and composed myself. I took a deep breath, saw the movie theater across the street, went inside and did what any emotional unstable female would do; I bought a ticket to the sappiest, saddest movie in the building. I sat down by myself, prepared my tear ducts for another flood (but this time they'd be flooding for some fictional character's problems and not my own, whew) when a quiet woman came and sat next to me. She smiled at me and I at her. And then all the sudden there was that feeling again. Like we were friends who both had a rough day and needed to see Anne Hathaway be the sad girl for once. Towards the end of the movie I found myself weeping quietly (hard to believe, right?) and I heard my stranger friend sniffling as well.
There we were, two strangers who don't know anything about each other, sharing a movie and some tears together. We were connected in that moment.
We are all individuals. The world is seen as a different place by each and every set of eyes. We all make our journey through life as separate entities. But we all have these special little moments that act as little communal links in a chain to connect ourselves to one another. And we knowingly and often times unknowingly help each other reconnect and bridge a gap of separation. Sometimes the chain disconnects and we have to find different links to make it connect again and sometimes the only way to reconnect is through the unexpected...and in the unexpected encounters there lies magic and there lies surprise, if you are patient.
I know this to be true.
...I should change my blog name to 'sexless and LOVES metaphors.' Am I right or am I RIGHT?