Signs

by

07/01/2002

10 Washington Pl, New York, NY

Neighborhood: All Over, Manhattan

Like 0 Retweet 0

The A train rattles through the tunnel underneath the East River. It’s late on a Sunday night and the train is not very crowded. About ten customers are spaced equidistant on the seats. They stare up at the ceiling or down at the their feet.

Doors at the end of the car click and slide open. A woman shuffles quickly down the aisle distributing business cards. She says nothing, placing the unwanted cards on the thighs of passengers who won’t look at her. One side of the card says; “I am deaf...” and asks for a donation. The other side of the card depicts the sign-language alphabet. Each of the 26 characters has a tiny hand hovering above it, configured in a specific way.»

When each leg has received a card, she makes another trip through the train to gather them back. A teenage boy has been skulking in the corner seat. His size is intimidating and his demeanor—-intense. The hood of his bulky jacket obscures his face. When the woman comes to collect, he hands her a quarter and keeps the card. He spends the rest of the trip hunched over it, carefully posing his fingers in the prescripted way, silently spelling out words which none of us cardless passengers can understand.

Comments
Rate Story
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

§ Leave a Reply

Other Stories You May Like

Nearby All Over, Manhattan Stories

Jews Playing Basketball

by

New Yorkers of a certain age who dig hoops can tell you that there is a lot of Jewish DNA [...]

Dancing in the Dark

by

In 1974 I was twenty-five. I’d just left my secure job as a kindergarten teacher. The job: compliments of my, [...]

The River, the Floating Lanterns and the White Balloons

by

Friday, September 9, 2011. My friend and neighbor Judy the Therapist and I ponder the upcoming 10th anniversary of the World [...]

Battered Carnations

by

To say that I am not a morning person is both unimaginative and a gross understatement. Each day I try [...]

Scented

by

I'm not the girl who woke up from another one-night-stand. But I could be, in the view from the Sephora [...]