I got onto the 1 train in NYC after a long day of classes. I was wearing a fitted pair of yoga pants that came to the knee and a tee shirt with a flower print on the front. It was slightly see-through. I was also toting around a back pack, and my hula hoop.
Since I was only going 1 stop on the 1 train so that I could transfer to another train, I opted not to sit.
Across from me was a handsome young man. He had a smooth face, and I guessed that he was in his mid 20s at the most. It’s funny that I would guess this young man to be younger than me since most people guess me to be much younger than I am. For all I know, he was probably the same age as me.
Then again, knowing me and men, he was probably younger since I thought he was attractive. I’ve been doing this cougar thing for a long time, and apparently, I am now old enough to date 1/2 my age plus 10 years (I did the math. I was actually old enough for this 5 years ago, though I’m more comfortable with the idea now).
So the young man was sitting down and was well dressed, as if he was coming from an office. He looked at me when I got on the train. He looked up at me, and I grinned at him. He grinned back.
Normally, this is when the guy would probably look away or divert his attention to something else, or to other people on the subway train. Instead, he continued to look at me quite freely and openly. It wasn’t in that creepy way that makes a girl feel uncomfortable, but in an almost admiring and inquisitive sort of way. He looked like he wanted to talk to me.
Inwardly, I shook my head. If you’re going to do all this staring, there needs to be some talking done as well.
I said hi to the handsome stranger.
Surprisingly, he said hi back.
We talked for a couple of minutes, and he asked about the hula hoop I was carrying. It’s collapsible, and I had it on a strap. I was surprised that he knew what it was, though he had mentioned that he hadn’t seen one that comes apart.
Shortly after this conversation got started was as quickly as it ended; I was now at my stop, and it was time to say good bye to the dashing young gentleman. I bade him good bye, and slowly strode off the train.
As I stood on the platform, I was slightly conflicted. Should I have stayed on for a couple more stops and continued talking to him?
Did I leave at the right time, or did I leave the connection too soon?
Nothing came of it, and maybe nothing was meant to come of it. Perhaps the only thing that was meant to happen was for two people to connect in an old fashioned sense that was unhampered with technology. This archaic type of connection is what we were made for, after all.
Two months later, back in my hometown, I still remember that young man. I don’t know what it was about him, but it was nice to talk to a guy that was attractive and not be nervous about it. Normally, I would’ve never talked to a guy that cute without having palpitations.
Maybe being in a different city stirs up that boldness. Or… it was that rare occurrence when taking public transportation when you run into a person that’s just as open as you are to making a real world connection with another person.
As people, we yearn for that touch, whether it’s physical or just a point where you can briefly relate to another person.
We all have basic human needs: to eat, to sleep, to have shelter.
I also think that we crave the desire to be seen as a human to other humans. I think this is the greatest basic need.
In that moment, we realized it. That was enough.