I think it's important to note odd occurences on the subway when they occur. What a mix of humanity I am treated to every day on the way to and from work! It's a far cry from listening to my self-help tapes in the car during my commute in Los Angeles, but it's fulfilling in its own way.
This morning I was standing by a woman who reminded me of this girl I kind of knew as a kid, Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen was a nice enough girl - sunburned knees, kind of nerdy, the kind of kid who rarely has a bad word to say to or about anyone, and who also has one of those piggy faces. I don't mean fat. I just mean a face that is slightly jowly, with wide cheeks and a pug-nose. You all know her. Everyone knows a Mary Ellen or two.
So I'm standing next to Mary Ellen with her piggy face and she is quite obviously listening to Neil Diamond on her Ipod. (I say "quite obviously" because the volume was turned up very loud.) I think it was his "Greatest Hits" or something. Mary Ellen seems wholesome. Quality people, as my grandma used to say.
When the subway train left the underground tunnel and moved into the outdoors on the Manhattan Bridge, Mary Ellen promptly turned off Neil Diamond, ripped open her bag, yanked out her cell phone, dialed a number and began screaming at her secretary.
Oh, Mary Ellen.
I believe in humanity just ever so slightly less now.