There’s an old man with a white beard who works at the Bowery subway station who is always happy to help. People wave to him. I remember the first time I waved at him and thought I was the only one. Then when everyone waved to him and he waved back I got jealous. I was a little hurt. Now I don’t mind. Now I think it’s nice. My friend had the same reaction. “Oh, I’m not special?” Shit it’s not like we ever brought him cookies or anything.
We thought about it though. I didn’t think about it for long. You don’t want to put someone in the position of having to trust a stranger’s cookies.
That’s kind of like another thing that happens at that station.
There’s a sign that faces a bench where people sit and the sign tells you which direction the train is coming from. The bell goes off and the arrow on the sign lets you know whether you should go downstairs. Sometimes the bell goes off and I can’t see the sign. I want to ask the people on the bench which way the train is coming, but I don’t trust them to not fuck with me. So when I’m sitting on the bench and people are looking at the back of the sign, wondering which way the arrow is pointing, I don’t tell them. I don’t tell them because then they’d be forced to either trust me or very obviously display their (warranted) distrust of strangers.