True Love Always

by

02/04/2002

W 42nd St & 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Neighborhood: Manhattan

You could easily have walked right past her. An attractive young woman, about twenty-five years old, sitting quietly on the half-full subway car. Her hair was done, her make-up expertly applied. She sported dangly earrings and a jaunty scarf knotted above a new leather jacket. Nothing unusual about her. Except for the pants — or more precisely, the absence of pants. The woman was naked from the waist down.

She had a nice section of the car to herself, and none of the other passengers seemed particularly fearful. She wore a peaceful expression, and her hands were folded loosely against her bare thigh. Probably she was deeply disturbed, but she seemed harmless enough, and the prevailing attitude of the other riders appeared to be something along the lines of vague sympathy.

Enter our leading man. Let’s call him Romeo. Romeo was a wiry little street person somewhere in his fifties. He came bopping through the sliding door from the next car, and began dancing his way down the aisle, chuckling and humming a little tune as he went. He seemed to be as high as a kite.

People glanced at him as he made his way through the car. It was obvious that a meeting was inevitable, and no one wanted to miss it. As he neared the naked woman, the tension in the car suddenly became palpable, and you could almost feel a sigh of disappointment as he shoo-be-dooed right past her. But just when it looked like a dud, he stopped mid-swagger, about five feet past her, a “just-a-minute” finger poised in the air, and without ever turning his head, did a little backwards shuffle. He sat down next to the naked girl and said, “Well, hel-lo, Sunshine!”

That was it. The woman’s trance was broken. She turned to him and began bellowing an uninterrupted string of obscenities and gibberish. Her formerly placid features twisted into the tortured mask of the hopelessly insane. Poor Romeo was taken aback. Rebuffed! And by such a sure bet!

He moved away from her, yet refused to give up. He continued his spiel in a melodious, soothing tone, but it was no use. She stood and began flailing her arms and screaming down at him. She was easily a head taller than he was, and quite a bit sturdier-looking.

As the train pulled into the next stop, he darted out and the naked woman leaped after him, still shrieking and waving her arms. The two of them barreled past the startled crowd waiting outside the doors. As the train pulled out of the station, the entire car craned their necks to see the happy couple disappearing up the staircase and out of view.

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