Subway Encounters


He is feeling jaunty as he bounds down the steps to the subway platform. He’s coming off four back-to back-sessions, followed by an intense supervision with his trainees. Having an hour to kill before heading to his dinner appointment downtown, he gets in a few games of table tennis at Marty Reisman’s club on West 96th Street. 

He sees her as soon as he enters the subway car. Medium length curly black hair, dangling turquoise earrings framing pert features. No need for makeup on this gal. Wearing a pink sleeveless t-shirt with a black athletic bra visible underneath, baggy gray sweat pants. Black and white Adidas high top running shoes. Several black rubber bracelets on each wrist and a faux pearl necklace with a faith cross pendant hanging from her neck. She’s in her mid twenties, thirty on the outside.

She is busy writing in a spiral notebook, a sloppy light blue nylon gym bag occupying the seat next to her. She looks up and he realizes he is staring at her. They make eye contact for a few seconds longer than is the social norm. She smiles, shakes her head slightly, and in one graceful motion, picks up her bag and places it on the floor between her legs. With her petite left hand, she motions for him to sit next to her. Continue reading “Subway Encounters”

The Supplicant

As I step forward, I glance at the six other people who comprise our standing semi-circle, four on my right, two on my left. We are positioned evenly, about three feet from each other. We had been told to dress in formal garb, as befits members of the academy. The three other men are adorned in tuxedos with peak lapels. The women are dressed in gray peg leg jersey jumpsuits. (This is formal attire?). I am wearing straight leg black jeans and a flowing white silk shirt with a few random streaks of color, like Jackson Pollack was just getting started on a canvass. (Not exactly black tie on my part, I suppose.)

I don’t recall putting on these clothes. I was sitting in the dressing room, looking like the other penguin males and, the next thing I know, I am standing alongside my fellow petitioners in garments that look like they were acquired at Mary Quant’s King’s Road boutique in the early 1960s. Continue reading “The Supplicant”