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  • Rebecca Elliott

subway strangers

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

Oct.20.2019 ----- New York, NY


There's sunlight flashing onto my shoes and the floor beneath them, fighting its way through the train windows and the bridge beams outside. The shoulders of the man sitting across from me move up and down as he dances to the magic sounds traveling from his headphones and into his brain. He taps his black leather business shoes on the floor, letting the music work its way down to his toes. He's middle-aged, wearing small rectangular glasses and a purple button-up that appears as worn as I feel after a full day of work. And yet there he sat, doing a little dance in his subway seat, almost unnoticeable if not for the smile he flashes at me when he sees my own.


There's City and the Colour playing in my ears, but the rumble of the train flying over the tracks is layered behind it. The red brick and gray concrete of towering buildings speed by through the glass behind me. I look back at the man across from me --- he's still dancing.


When I reached my stop, he remained, his shoulders still shaking and his feet still sounding out the rhythm. This brief encounter will stick with me for quite some time, I think. It showed me that joy is tucked into every corner of this city, I swear it is. Sometimes, it may seem hard to find. On other days, it finds you when you least expect it, but often when you need it most.


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© 2020 by Rebecca Midori Elliott