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Step to the Left

Posted By Alex Belth On January 11, 2010 @ 10:26 am In Bronx Banter,Memoir,New York City,The Mrs | Comments Disabled


The wife and I were on our way home Saturday night, riding the IRT back uptown to the Bronx. Two young, heavy-set women sat across from us with a stroller in front of them. One of the women drank a can of orange soda and played with her infant son; the boy gripped her fat fingers and laughed. The other woman tapped her cell phone and complained about how long it was going to take for them to get ready–showered and dressed–to go out.

“It’s nine o’clock, you gunna take forever to get your ass in gear. I don’t even know what I’m going to wear.”

The women chattered along–giggling and talking loudly like teenagers–and the child became restless.

“What are you bothering me for?” the mother said to him. “Why do you keep saying, ‘Papi’? Your father isn’t here.  Papi, Papi, Papi. I’m here. He’s not here. You want me to call him so you can talk to him? I brought you into this world, why you need to always bother me? I’m the boss. You do as I say.”

The Mrs and I were tucked into the two seats at the end of the car. We were distracted by the mother, our conversation halted. Finally, Emily turned to me and said, “Can we move?” I had been thinking about changing our seats for several stops. At 168th street, we moved to the next car.

It’s not about being judgemental it’s about comfort. If you can do something about it, why expose yourself to something that makes you uncomfortable, anxious or upset? Yeah, when I’m aware of it–and both Emily and I are exceedingly sensitive to this kind of thing–I don’t think, I just move.

Watch the closing doors.

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