Notes From Underground
A lot of people hate to ride the New York City subways, but I love them because 1
. I like to get places fast.
A musician balancing a cello case, two Buddhist monk sin saffron robes, and a group of stockbrokers in crisp,2. charcoal gray suits get on at Wall Street
. A passenger placidly sews while the subway train flings and jolts. A teenager 3. whose
holding a shoe box containing a kitten as tiny as a gingersnap smiles 4. even if
a line of girls in frilly white communion dresses file by. About three and a half million people a day ride the 5. subways
I think maybe6.I might possibly have
met them all.
Sometimes a Salvation Army volunteer boards the subway train with sandwiches and juice to give to the needy. “Put your pride to the side!” the volunteer shouts,and I’ve seen many people put out their hands. 7.The
speaker also raises money. 8. Its
impossible to predict which people will dig into their pockets or 9. if they were to open
their purses, and I’ve stopped trying to guess.
Last week some fellow passengers and I watched an elderly man with a portable chessboard 10. playing
chess against himself. Just yesterday I sat across the aisle 11. with
a woman who was composing music12. in pink-tinted glasses
in a notebook. She tapped her foot as she reviewed what she’d written and then stopped tapping and jotted more notes as the train 13. hurtled along.
Today is my mother’s birthday. I decided to surprise her with lilac blooms from my backyard, so this morning,carrying a shopping bag full of the flowers, I boarded a crowded “E” train and rode it to the very last stop in the Bronx. Strangers smiled and took pains not to crush the flowers, even when the train jerked to a halt. 14.
I got off at an elevated station and, lifting the splendid bouquet,rushed down to my mother, feeling delighted that I’d brought the blooms all the way from Brooklyn on the subway train.