New York City Subway Series: Romance

February 8 by

New York City Subway Series:  Romance

Recently, I visited New York.  We spent a lot of time moving from place to place via the subway. If you’ve never ridden the subway in New York, I highly recommend it.  If you’re a writer, photographer, or artist, I would go as far as to say riding the subway is a MUST. Yes, it’s dirty, it’s loud, it’s crowded, it can be smelly and tight and frustrating.  But, it’s a great place to people watch.  Every possible walk of life moves through New York by that means of transportation.

This is the third and final post (for now) in the New York City Subway Series.  The first one was on journaling.  The second one was on character development.  And this one offers some thoughts on love stories.

When you travel on the subway/train, there are many stations, platforms, etc., that you traverse.  Some are more easily navigated than others.  They are all quite interesting.  It’s simply amazing at the number of people that go through them.

On one trip back to Brooklyn from New York City, we had to wait for about 15 minutes on the next train.  There were many different groups of people on the platform.  Some were older, some were families, some were twenty-somethings going home after a night on the town.

One group of twenty-somethings stood close to us.  Three young men and a young girl who was clearly the girlfriend of one of the boys.  They all laughed and talked as they waited.  The train came screaming into the platform, and as it swept past them, the boyfriend took the young girl into his arms, and kissed her deeply.  The kiss lasted until the train stopped, and the doors slipped open.  His friends stood by watching.  They were not laughing.  They were not awkward.  The looks on their faces were…. appreciative.

But when the train doors opened, he had to let her go, or she would have had to wait for the next train and perhaps be late getting home.  It was with great reluctance he let her go, and she dashed onto the train just a second before the doors closed.  He stood there in his dark coat, hands in pockets and watched her.

One of his friends ran to the car, and made a face at her through the window.  They erupted into laughter.  All except the boyfriend.  He just smiled and continued to watch her.

The train started up.  He watched until he couldn’t see her.  His friends also watched this young girl disappear on the train. Then the small smile on his face turned into a beam of light.  His friends were slapping him on the back, and laughing, clearly happy for him.  He didn’t blush.  He didn’t back down from his incredibly beautiful smile. He looked like a man in love.  In deep, satisfying love.  And his friends were happy for him.

I watched as they started making their way off the platform to catch their own ways home.  One peeled off and went down the stairs to the next platform, the other two up the stairs on their way to another location.

As we continued to wait for our own train, I thought about the girl.  I didn’t really get a good look at her, but no matter what she looked like, this group of young men adored her.  It was obvious. They were reverent to her with her boyfriend.  They cajoled her once she got on the train.  And they all watched as her train left until they could no longer see her.

I started considering what traits a young twenty-something girl would have to have in order to garner that kind of appreciation.  AND I considered what traits this incredibly confident young man had to have to garner respect from his friends about his love life versus the typical being made fun of.  I wondered what elements made up their love story.  How would it end?  Or would it?

People watching always gives so much more story fodder than sitting alone behind a desk.  Granted, the sitting alone gets the story written, but being out and watching snippets of stories unfold is a most excellent way of getting the elements of the story right.

If you’re ever in a city with a train or a subway, ride it.  Look at the people around you.  See what they are doing, wearing, saying, not saying.  Look at their faces, see their eyes, their caginess, their openness, their expressions when lost in thought, lost in music, lost in a book, or just sleeping because the day has gone on for too long.  You’ll be amazed at what you see, what you hear, what you smell.  All the elements that go into story showing, and not just telling.

Cathy Lynn

About Cathy Lynn

Cathy Lynn is an artist, writer, executive trainer, and the co-owner of Inkwell Basics. She has published two coloring books, Conscious Coloring and Carnal Coloring. She's currently working on a novel, and turning her farm into an event venue. She previously blogged at 3 Shared Paths, a personal growth blog that was read worldwide, and has been blogging for over 10 years. She lives somewhere between the city and the country with her three cats, Sebastian, Miss Kitty, and Ella.

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