Rainy Daze, Distressed Girl and a [Black] Man Who Cares
There I was, drenched in water, after walking outside to a downpour of rain. I was holding onto a big box - a package I had delivered to my job - my hook-handle umbrella, cross-body gym bag and my purse, struggling to get from my office exit to the train.
I was unprepared for the storm. After all, the day started off with weather completely opposite from this: sunny, warm and beautiful. That's the weather I dressed for too.
I had on a nice, white sleeveless blouse, palooza pants and summer pumps with my teal-polished toes hanging all out, looking pretty. I had plans after work, and wanted to make sure my appearance was up to par.
But, none of that matters at this point. I just need to get to the train.
"It's only a few steps away," I say to myself, preparing to brave the heavy wind and rain.
I start walking, and as I walk, I feel the water sink into my pants.
"So much for the umbrella," I think.
I was soaked, but I had finally made it to the entrance of the station.
Now I just need to close my umbrella, make it down the steps without falling in my heels(why did I wear heels?), and keep my package and my purse secure. Cool.
I get to the turnstile, and swipe my card. I'm in.
Now, I just have to do it one more time. Get down the steps - this time, to the platform - without falling. Keep my package, my gym bag, and my purse secure.
I make it down successfully, and walk along the platform to wait for the 2 or 3 train. Either will do.
I'm exhausted at this point, but I'm almost home and any plans I had up until now are canceled. There's no way I could go anywhere like this.
The 3 train comes, and although the 2 would get me there just as quickly, I'm relieved to see this one come first. It's typically less crowded and thus presents a higher of chance of me securing seat.
I get on the train, but to my disappointment, there are no seats. There is, however, an open space next to a seat, where I can stand with all my stuff, so I go there and grab a hold to the the pole. Well, kind of. I had to get in a position that would work for all of my stuff first.
I sling my gym bag over to my side so it doesn't create more space between me and the pole, stand my umbrella up, attempting to nestle it between my knees, and wrap my hand around the pole to get it back on the box which is now between my chest and the pole. I know...it wasn't making sense for me either nor was it working out.
I make a number of failed attempts to shift things around, and just before I get flustered and completely lose my shit, a brotha, standing across from me in a white, sleeveless tank and grey sweats, takes the box and sits it on top of his bag.
I could cry tears of relieved, independent black woman.
Nothing reminds you you're alone more than transporting a ton of stuff in unfavorable weather conditions by yourself.
I was losing control in that moment, but when he stepped in to help, I felt as if a weight had been lifted. I felt supported.
Suddenly, I didn't have to focus on everything, but rather only a few things. I couldn't beat this feeling, though it was for but a second.
Now, I must admit, I was skeptical at first. I'm conditioned not to trust strangers anywhere, and especially not any strangers in NYC. But in this moment, I had no other choice, and to be frank, he was doing me a favor. So, my skepticism took the back seat to my relief.
I finally get to my stop, and he hands me my package.
"Thank you, again," I say and get off the train.
All the while, he said nothing. And he didn't have to.
His empathy demonstrated by his actions, in my moment of strife, was enough.
The whole rest of my journey home I reflected on what happened.
"Wow," I say. "It would be really nice if i had someb..."
Nevermind. I'm home.