Friday, June 11, 2010

Till next Tuesday

"Is Spritzer making a comeback?" read the headline. The image that came to my mind was of his wife's face on that awful day when she stood by him, while he was apologizing to the world for betraying her. I thought at the time that if hell exists, this is what a woman's hell must look like.

The newspaper belonged to a middle aged man. The woman next to him was reading Nicolas Sparks' novel (too cheesy and predictable for my taste, but, one might argue, is a good subway read). From time to time, she would peak into his newspaper to see what he was reading. At times he looked up to check the station the train was at.
Not a word was said between them. At a first glance they looked like two people who don't even know each other. But the nervous body language gave off a strange vibe. An occasional touch of the knees, the close proximity of their arms, her tendency to lean into his space as if to make a claim, to mark a spot...I've been riding subways long enough to know that if two strangers get this close, a fist fight is not out of the question. Yet, these two didn't seem to mind. I found myself feeling like an intruder into some private moment...
"The next stop is 42nd Street, Bryant Park", said the conductor.
His stop.
They looked at each other.
He got up and picked up his overnight bag.
Something unspoken emerged and hung in the air (or was it something unspeakable?)
He kissed her on the forehead.
In one, speedy gesture he slipped a wedding band on his finger and said "Till next Tuesday".

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