Friday, September 11, 2009

First time

She was at least 75 years old, a frail stick figure with a punk shock of white on top and an orange lipstick to match her jacket.

Some days more than others, inexplicably, the métro platform is more zoo than the quiet order of harmless commuters still half asleep and on their way to work. This was one of those days.

I navigated the hub, the point of transfer to another line. She was frantic to latch onto a face, and she chose mine.

Does this train go to...? Her voice trailed off, unable to maintain the volume her eyes bespoke. I had to ask her to repeat the question, the place names. Yes, I assured her.

Oh good, she smiled. It's the first time I ever take the métro. The train pulled up and we squeezed into the car.

I nodded her a reassurance when I disembarked a few stations later. She was still smiling, with all the nervous trepidation of a child on her first day of school.

I've been taking the métro for years. I'd like to believe that I'm pretty good at not letting adventures pass me by, but I'm hoping there'll be something left for me to try for the first time when I'm 75.


Stefanie said...

What a great story!

Diana said...

I've never ridden on a subway, either. I've never even navigated a bus system alone because we only ride buses in Seattle on vacation, and Bill leads. I would be just like that woman. I have NO idea how to go about doing what she did. Hopefully someone like you will be around to help me!

iwonka said...

uh, driving a car maybe? at the rate you're going, you may in fact be 75 before you get your license!