“New York, New York! A wonderful town…The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down…The people ride in a hole in the ground…New York, New York! It’s a wonderful town!”
Thanks, Frank Sinatra, for helping me to introduce this blog post!
In fact, many of my posts are centered around New York City and especially its subway system…
I suppose it’s because I spend a substantial part of my day, (as Frank Sinatra sang), riding in a ‘hole in the ground’. The subway is a place where I find great inspiration to write from the people and things I see.
And this morning’s subway ride was no exception.
As usual, today the subway car was packed to the gills with people. It was rush hour and everyone was squeezing their way inside to make it to work on time.
When the subway stopped to take on new passengers, I noticed a man in his early 30’s getting in the subway car.
He was burly and tough-looking. The man’s face was rough and a lush beard covered his lower jaw. He didn’t dare smile. His black leather jacket and boots added to the instant impression of “Don’t Mess With Me” that he carried along with him.
Yet there was one thing about him that was quite the contrary…
Draped over the man’s right shoulder was a knitted, pastel-colored baby blanket. It looked soft and worn around the edges. Surely, a child had snuggled with this blanket for many a night, I thought.
Being in New York, I wondered if this was a new fashion craze that I hadn’t caught on to yet?
But the man’s interesting accessory all made sense to me once I looked down.
In amongst the crowd, I was able to see that the man stood with a baby stroller at his side. Inside the stroller was an adorable child, about 2 years of age.
And at that very moment, I was privy to the most touching scene.
The child reached up his tiny hand and grasped the man’s huge pointer finger. The man lovingly clutched the child’s hand, reassuring the tot of his presence and protection. The boy held onto the man’s finger for the remainder of the ride.
I don’t know if the man was the child’s father, brother, uncle, or caregiver…But their silent show of love and trust for each other was a beautiful way to start a rainy Monday morning…
And more importantly, it made me realize that I can’t judge a book by its cover…