Thursday, June 20, 2013

cleaning it up

i've written a few different intros to the following story. but the below incident doesn't truly relate to the second prom party the club hosted (more on that another time). or the fact that in my new daily life, i deal with a lot of messes. (literal. figurative. emotional. social. purposeful and not. take your pick. it comes from pretty much all sides.)

it's just something i witnessed and it's stayed with me. so now i'm sharing it with you.

the other day on the train, when the man sitting next to me got up his drink bottle leaked. or else he was so juiced that he sweated pink, because suddenly, pink liquid was pooled on the seat next to me where a second ago it wasn't.

i hopped up and switched to the now full bench seat across from me. as the train pulled away from the station, the pink juice sped over my seat and down the rest of bench. we all watched it race towards a kid at the far end, who clearly refused to move. finally he had no choice but to scooch forward or get wet. at the next stop, he switched seats, too.

during rush hour, you know something is wrong when an entire six-seater bench is empty. clearly there's poo, or it reeks from the last person, or there's unexplained goo. but this was later in the afternoon, empty seats were scattered about. so when a young girl, wearing light pastel jeans, got on at the next stop, she didn't question the long, glorious row of empty seats. happy with her seat finding good fortune, she wore a big smile as she began to plant her butt right on top of....

me and everyone else on my bench gasped. I threw my hand out, in a silent, slow-mo "noooooo" gesture. another woman just stepping onto the train noticed, and shouted, "Miss! Watch out." hand to heart, the girl shot out of her crouching position. saved! just in the knick.

"oh thank you so much," she gasped moving to another seat further away as everyone on my bench resumed staring at the pink.

as we chugged towards my stop, i wondered how many people would have to stand for the rest of the day as a result of the spill? how many people would be washing pink stains out of their pants that night? at the next station would we warn someone else the same way? and how many stations would that do-gooding last for?

but then the woman who saved the young girls' afternoon by shouting, "Miss!" pulled tissues out of her purse and (really very thoroughly) mopped up the entire mess. it took her a full  minute. when she finished, she planted herself right in the middle of the bench with a big smile.

i thought about her actions for the rest of the day. i wanted to thank her on so many levels. sometimes you have no choice but to all caps LOVE this city. love this life. daily, we step around, avoid, don't look at the messes others make. until unasked, unheralded, with a big smile, we decide to clean them up.

lovely, no? that's all.


  1. That IS lovely!

    Hope all is well, Corrie! Miss seeing your face. :)

  2. Right? Thanks lady. And likewise!