Blurred outlines of buildings, people and trees rush by the windows of the train. The day is quickly becoming night and the train-car I'm sitting in is tightly packed. Looking around the cab I often lock eyes with other passengers who usually look away quickly. I record faint details of all of them and try to recall them as the days pass by. Green smokey eyes, slight grin on her face. Blonde shoulder length hair, carrying an obviously fake MK bag. Brown hat, blue eyes with an extra pale complexion. They all seem to blur together as the days go on.
When the train comes to a stop and the car empties out I always end up locking eyes with a young woman. She's probably in her early 20's, Brown eyes, brown hair and has her septum pierced. She's usually dressed in a nice well thought out outfit, she's either a secretary or some kind of office manager. The large binder next to her makes me think she's usually extremely busy and this few moments of solace in her busy day has her looking at my way, possibly wondering the same things about me. I'm usually dressed in my normal work attire which is nowhere near as elegant as hers. She's always face down in a book but I catch her looking more often than not. She's got a glow about her. Every time she breaks eye contact she looks down with a small grin and blushes. It makes me wonder why she's never come and spoken to me. Being a man of unusually large stature I understand I may be intimidating but I usually just smile warmly and wave.
It's been months now. I've seen her every day and this one was no different. 86th street exit, the train clears out. There she is, almost directly across from me. The train was unusally quiet this evening so I took it upon myself to start the dialogue. "Of mice and men? That's always been one of my favorites" I said to her. No reply. Not even a acknowledgement of my question. "I've always found it difficult not to take Lenny's side although Carl is the smart one." Still nothing. Maybe I was mistaken. Maybe this whole time I was actually staring at her and she was panicking not smiling. Maybe I- she looked up, I gave a slight wave and she waved back. I then tried my questions again but she looked back at me and pointed to her ears. "I'm sorry for ignoring you, I'm actually deaf." she explained in perfect dialect. I tried to be as comprehensive as I could by enunciating all of my words to the best of my ability. She read lips perfectly and we finally had our first conversation. This lead to the next which led to several others.
This went on for weeks. Everyday when the train would clear out we'd talk about literature and art. She was a curator at MOMA and this fascinated me. I clearly had her affection so after months I finally looked at her from across the walkway and signed, "Coffee?" her smile said it all. No matter what barriers people come across love always finds a way of making it work. Sometimes strangers can be the best people you've ever met.