There is a woman I see on the subway at least once a week. For a while we would cross paths every single day, it seemed. We enter and exit the train at the same stations, exiting at Fulton Street. At least that’s how it used to be.

Today she stayed on the N train at the usual transfer point at 59th Street. I noticed and, possibly gesturing enough that she noticed that I noticed, I went on as usual to the downstairs path to the downtown 4 or 5 express. It seem to me logical that express trains would get me there faster, right?

I may be wrong about this. She stayed on and, I suspect, exited the N train at whatever the station is by the Trade Center. Is it Church Street? Doesn’t matter but I know the station.

She must have found that staying on the N gets you there in the same time as making the transfer to the express.

Why I care about this is that, while  we’ve never said one word to each, today there was eye contact to suggest she wanted to tell me something. At least that’s how I interpret it. We’d made eye contact a small number of times but today was more quizzical, more interested. She was also reading a book. I had not seen her reading a physical book before

Not long after we started crossing paths every day I figured out who she is. It wasn’t hard. She has a relatively robust online presence, and I started following her blog.

I had thoughts about her at first. We are still allowed to have thoughts, are we not? #meToo can’t take those away from us, can it?

But when the weather warmed enough one day for her to take off the gloves I saw a ring, and that vanquished any and all “thoughts”. I also just can’t continue having dalliances with women half my age. My last two encounters were with women in the 40s but before that it was a string of 20-somethings whose fathers were younger than me. 

But I maintain my interest in seeing what the subway woman does. On the train she looks like a corporate suit, hustling to work, getting there early or on time every single day. 

But I know otherwise. Today, with the weather warming more, she revealed some of her plentiful tattoos that look unlike what one expects of a corporate stiff. She is not wholly covered but (and I’ve seen her naked so I know this) they are everywhere upon her bodice.

Is that the right word? Bodice? I think that’s garment, not a synonym for body, but whatever. It sounds crassly dainty, which is the sentiment. Daintily crass? Craintil Dass?

Anyway… Today’s encounter suggested to me that what she wanted to tell me was that staying on the N gets you to Lower Manhattan just as fast as making that awful two flights of stairs transfer at 59th Street.

In fact someone here at this job made a similar comment but I didn’t believe him because certain aspects of his relating this to me made no sense. but that’s another matter.

I like to think this subway woman and I could be friends. She’s seems intelligent, troubled, and at times the word “intervention” comes to mind when I read some of her journal postings. I remember others using the word “concerning” in refeerence to some of my radio content. Concerning.

There have been some internet-age moments, in which I read her journal on my phone while sitting right across from her on the train. I came stupidly close to posting a comment on her Instagram. It would have been a genuine comment but it would have stupidly included mention that “I’m the guy you keep seeing on the train every day…” I was just one click away from blowing that wide open.

 But I like a lot of her stuff. A photo of her hugging an ironing board is for the ages. 

I have engaged on her blog, anonymously, with respect to language and Lacan. She seems receptive but I don’t know how she’d feel knowing how much I know about her and how I was able to identify her with just a single web search.