Everyone on the 2 train had heard it a million times.
“I’m very sorry to bother all of you good people this morning,” said a man standing in the middle of the car. “But I’m down on my luck and could use some help. If anyone can spare a little something – food, change, an extra pair of winter gloves – it would really be appreciated.”
People dug out several dollars and one woman gave him a banana.
“Thank you,” the man said. “I hope everyone has a nice day.”
The man hasn’t had a nice day in a long time.
“I’ve been out of work for almost a year,” the man explained. “I wasn’t worried at the beginning, but jobs have gotten tougher to find and I haven’t been able to land anything steady.”
So he asks for help on the 2 train.
“I know these people hate me,” the man said. “Even those who give probably just want me to go away. They think I’m a lazy bum. But my name is Mark James and I used to ride this train to work just like them.
“I had a life back then,” he continued. “I had an apartment and an iPod and I owned a fantasy baseball team. I drafted Jeter and Mo and did pretty well in the league.”
Mark James – who used to ride the 2 train to his job and had the good sense to draft Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera for his fantasy baseball team – forced a smile and said:
“Maybe things will get better and I’ll have all that again. I guess anything can happen in fantasy baseball.”