He got in the subway car at Wellesley station. Unkempt and disheveled – I didn’t make eye contact or acknowledge him. This small, scruffy, older man was just one of a thousand transit riders on a late Tuesday night.
My imposing figure towers over him and most of the others in the cramped car. My headphones humming in my ears made me unaware of anything other than Alice in Chains.
But I notice he was trying to get my attention – grinning, ear to ear, through his bad teeth and smoke stained whiskers. Like a child, he tugs on my arm as I hold the safety bar far over his head.
Oh God, I think. He’s got something crazy to say or he’s going to bum for change.
He continues to tug on my coat until he gets my attention. Reluctantly, I pull off my earbuds one at a time.
“Excuse me,” he says. “But you see all these folks in here?” – gesturing at our fellow train passengers
“You’re the only one here that rightfully belongs in this country.” He flashes his carefree, brown and silver grin.
I chuckle as he bounds off the next train stop to deliver another random message to another not-so random, individual.
I pull out my Palm to write you this and bid you goodnight.
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