Tuesday, March 3, 2009

angel on the uptown E-train


Below is a story from over 20 years ago, and it still leaves me wondering.

I was living in New York City at the time. It was a lovely summer morning, probably 1984 or 85, I was about 22 years old. I got on the subway in lower manhattan on my way to an office job uptown. This was the E train, and I got on, as usual, at Spring Street.

The next stop was West 4th Street, and when the doors opened a very pretty young woman got on the train.

I don't understand why - but for some reason - I literally thought she was an angel. I'm not kidding. I was convinced she was somehow delivering me some mystical message. Maybe I died, and she was escorting me to the great beyond. Maybe this was the subway to heaven?

I was thunderstruck, and it was extremely strange.

I can vividly recall EXACTLY what she looked like and what she was wearing. She had short blond hair and she was reading the NY-Times (she folded the paper in the proper way that only the savvy new yorker knows). She had on a simple white summer sun dress. She wore white cotton "boating" shoes, low top and clean. No socks and un- shaven legs. She was smiling as she read the paper. She stood, and never sat down. And she never looked at me.

She got off at 34th street.

Now, at the time I was living with my girlfriend (Catherine) in a little apartment in SoHo downtown. When I got home that evening I told her about this weirdly profound event, alas - she didn't understand how intense it was. She actually got kind of angry at me - and that was typical of her. She simply saw it as me ogling, and immediately felt defensive.

Anyway - Now the story jumps a few months later, on a busy street in Greenwich Village (just east of Astor Place), I was walking on the sidewalk with Catherine on a cold wintery saturday morning. We had a rather tense relationship and clearly remember we were having a little squabble, typical of us. Then - she suddenly blurted out, "What are we doing? We shouldn't be together! I'm not your type, SHE'S your type!" and she pointed to this random woman on the sidewalk...

And it was her!

And - she was wearing the SAME shoes!

It was gray and blustery and she had on a heavy coat (a big green army coat).

Alas, right then, there wasn't any of that weird angelic shock to my psyche. She was with a guy, who had long hair and a beard. And - this is a funny impression from 20 plus years ago, I remember thinking this bearded guy was kind of a manipulative creep. I got a bad vibe from him.

__________________________________________________

2 comments:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Wow! I love this!

Mike Clelland! said...

As of this morning, this same stroy got posted on Trish and Rob MacGregor's site.

SYNCHRONICITIY LINK:
http://ofscarabs.blogspot.com/2010/04/subway-angel.html