I was sitting in the subway, having gotten a seat because I was riding during non-peak hours. To my right, many empty seats and a scattering of passengers killed time their own way. Mine was to bury myself into Bret Easton Ellis’s Imperial Bedrooms. To my left, the view was blocked by a large body huddled in the doorway. It was because of this that I almost missed it.
I should mention that it was a particularly snowy day in Toronto. Though there were vain attempts to shovel before it stopped, snow was everywhere. Walking had been treacherous and I was glad I had worn my boots. Though heavily weighing down each footstep, I was warm and dry.
As I looked up from my book, perhaps to discern the station name, or perhaps to see who was getting on the train I caught sight of an odd reflection in the glass. It seemed to be a large and cruelly misshapen man. I stared, safe in the glass reflection to understand what I was looking at. Indeed it was a man, though merely clutching some large object, draped in black and hardly steady despite it’s bulk. While it did not tower over him, it was his equal in size–and he was no small fellow.
I scanned the other passengers, who took no notice.
When the train reached the terminus, it was all too clear. He was wheeling a huge upright bass. He manoeuvred easily out of the subway and onto the escalator. By luck I found myself following him out the exit into the snowy winter day. Surely, he wasn’t going to be wheeling that behemoth in the snow?
I watched him walk away, seemingly without a care, the snowy sidewalk no impediment to this musician. He must have done this a million times before.
Not safe in my reverie as I rode my bus home, I saw the counter image. Somewhere down the line, an elderly man got on the bus. He seemed hearty enough, despite dragging his portable oxygen container with him.
I had seen two people lugging very different sized objects, for very different purposes, yet somehow I saw a connection. I saw a story that captured my attention, but now hours later, though I am sure it means something, I am not sure what it is.