Signs

by

07/01/2002

10 Washington Pl, New York, NY

Neighborhood: All Over, Manhattan

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...

§ Leave a Reply

Other Stories You May Like

Nearby All Over, Manhattan Stories

The Brie Burger

by

I got on the train at Fourteenth Street, sated with beef and coffee and wondering how come it wasn't so much later than it shoul

The Singing of God Bless America By A Woman Condemned To Death

by

Throughout the 1950s Stan Novick was locked up at least four times in “The Tombs,” Manhattan’s now-closed city jail and [...]

Managing Editor Connor Gaudet Shamelessly Plugs Greenwich Village History Blog

by

 Hello Friends,In a semi-related but separate project I am working on, I am creating posts for the Greenwich Village History [...]

Schvitzing

by

Some like it hot.

The Kitchen at Le Cirque

by Thomas Beller

The chef--Sottha Kuhnn--is nowhere, and everywhere, a small man with thin gold rimmed spectacles, his white hat towering above h