Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Today, on the T.

These flowers rode the T with me today. Image Hosted by
Image Hosted by
They sat beside a woman reading a newspaper in a language I could not identify. Accross from a man playing jazz with his hands. And too far away from the girl in the bright blue polka-dot top and black pencil skirt with her bright red hair. She appreciated the face that I was riding the T with a giant plant in my arms, and smiled at me as I stumbled off the green line and made my way down the steps to red. As I waited for the next train, I was greeted by a gruff voice: "I told you not to buy me flowers!" A clearly eccentric man was making his way towards me. "Where'd you get those?" he asked. "My teacher brought them in from her garden," I explained. "That's nice," he said, eyeing the cherry tomatos dangling off their vines. He was momentarily distracted by a little boy wearing a yamacha who was with his mother. "I don't think you wanna stand on the yellow line," the gruff voice warned the little boy. A voice came over the loud speaker announcing that a train would be arriving shortly. My friend, as I will call him, began muttering some choice words and "finally", and the mother led her little boy away, saying, "let's go over here." My friend, turning his attention back to me, leaned in closer than I would have preferred, and asked, "Can I take you out tonight, polka-dots?" Clearly he liked my skirt. "I have a boyfriend", I lied, and caught the eyes of a handsome stranger who had been watching the conversation between me and my friend. "Don't you need two boyfriends?" the gruff voice asked, and I replied, "No, I'm all set," still maintaining a sincere smile. He did not frighten me. I made my way unsuspectingly away from my friend and to the other side of the handsome stranger, who smiled at me with every gruff word spoken. My friend came back asking for a tomato, and I obliged. "And they're cherry tomatos!" he exclaimed. "It was nice to meet you, polka-dots," he said. "You too," I replied, and he made his way towards the tracks just as the train began to pull up. He headed to one cart and I deliberately headed for another (so that nothing further could happen to ruin our mini encounter) and the handsome stranger laughed, knowing very well what I was doing. "I'm going on this one,"I mouthed to him. No seats were left, so I held onto a pole with one arm, clutching my flowers and tomato vines in the other. Sharing the pole with me was a photographer in a striped yellow shirt and a brown derby hat. He eyed me curiously, the girl on the T in a polka-dot skirt holding a jar full of botanicals. When the T came above ground at Charles MGH, he held his camara out from his chest and snapped a few photos of me as discretely as he could. I secretly posed for him. I think he knew I knew. As the train slowed down and came to a hault, a woman got on with a beautiful elderly black man and woman. The man was tiny with distinctive hands and the expression of a child on his face, and he wore a large plaid green jacket and a white shirt, collar turned up, and a black bowler hat. I knew the photographer desperately wanted to take some pictures as the three figures hugged each other to stay steady around a pole, because I knew I would have wanted that photo if I had my camera. He took a few photos hastily, and then walked over near them and began talking to a boy in a skull t-shirt who had a seat. At first I thought the photographer was asking for the boy's seat so that he could sit there and take better pictures, but when he came back over to our pole and the boy stood up and walked a few feet away, I realized he'd asked him to move so the elderly man could sit down. The woman who accompanied the old pair nodded a thank you to the photographer, and all was good in the world for a moment. My photographer got off at the next stop and nodded goodbye to me. A seat opened up and I sat down as a gorgeous punk girl got on and sat accross from me. I could not see her eyes behind her enormous pitch-black sunglasses, but she had a permanant mona lisa smile transfixed on her purple lips the rest of the ride to Harvard Square as she and I glanced around at the different people on the T. One of my friends is creeped out by people who walk down the street smiling. I'm one of those people. Everyone was smiling at each other on the T today. Everyone had an understanding. Tomato plants bring people together.

1 comment:

Painter by Day said...

I love your descriptive "way with words." I felt as though I was riding the T with you while reading today's entry. I especially loved your ending... perhaps tomato plants could be the answer to world peace.