The mind is buzzing.
Thoughts zipping around like skeeter bugs on the surface of a still pond.
Most leaving faint ripples in their wake.
Work. Weight. Weekend. Work. Work. Work.
But One lingers. And has lingered since yesterday morning.
I’m pulling out of the gas station.
The morning traffic is blocking the exit.
Nine cars pass.
A pick-up finally stops.
I can see the outline of his face.
He’s not smiling.
He doesn’t wave me in.
He just stops.
One small gesture.
And it stuck.
And that small gesture…
Led the mind to leapfrog to The greatest crime of all…
“I couldn’t keep myself from thinking everything in New York was superior to every other place I’d ever been, which hadn’t been all that many places. I was stunned by New York. Its grand parks and museums. Its cozy cobbled streets and dazzlingly bright thoroughfares. Its alternately efficient and appalling subway system. Its endlessly gorgeous women clad in slim pants and killer shoes and interesting coats.
And yet something happened on my way to falling head over heels in love with the place. Maybe it was the man getting stabbed that no one worried about. Or maybe it was bigger than that. The abruptness, the gruffness, the avoid-eye-contact indifference of the crowded subways and streets felt as foreign to me as Japan or Cameroon, as alien to me as Mars. Even the couple who owned the bodega below our apartment greeted my husband and me each day as if we were complete strangers, which is to say they didn’t greet us at all, no matter how many times we came in to buy toilet paper or soup, cat food or pasta. They merely took our money and returned our change with gestures so automatic and faces so expressionless they might as well have been robots. …
This tiny thing … grew to feel like the greatest New York City crime of all, to be denied the universal silent acknowledgment of familiarity, the faintest smile, the hint of a nod.”
~ Cheryl “Sugar” Strayed