Thursday, June 01, 2017

How Important Are the Things We Worry About?

Last week’s post, You Are What You Write, provoked several interesting comments. Here’s one from a TV director I know in Manhattan, who is terrified of writing. However, she is a keen observer of social dynamics and always a great storyteller. In my book, that’s being a writer.

“When I left work Friday afternoon, I had one thought in rush to catch the 6:16 train so I could get home and start the weekend with a nice cold beer. Like most people in the Northeast, I was preoccupied with worries about Memorial Day weekend traffic and whether the gloomy forecast would wash out all of the parades, kids’ ballgames and barbecues.

While totally absorbed in these thoughts, I noticed a blind woman trying to navigate her way onto the train at the 66th Street subway stop.  She seemed to hesitate when the subway arrived even though she had the aid of a seeing eye dog. There was a large gap between the platform and the subway--at least 10 inches--and I guessed that the gap was the reason for her hesitation. I offered the woman my arm which she readily accepted. 

We got on the subway together and, one by one, every passenger in our vicinity offered her (and me) a seat. I figured that was the end of it.  Well, I'll be damned, when we got to 42nd Street (my stop), she said "Times Square?"  I replied "Yes" and asked her if she was getting out at this stop. She replied: "Yes, I'm going to Grand Central".  I'll be damned again, that was where I was going! 

Once again, the bling woman took my arm and we slowly navigated our way to the shuttle between Times Square and Grand Central Station. As most of you know, the shuttle platform has an even bigger gap; one that an able-bodied, sober, seeing person could easily slip into. How the hell was the woman able to navigate these terrors on a daily basis? 
We proceeded to Grand Central while chatting a bit. At Grand Central, the seas literally parted for us and people whispered about her beautiful dog. But my companion’s next problem was figuring out which track was assigned to get her to Crestwood, her ultimate destination.

We made our way upstairs, through turnstiles and swinging doors to the departure board. I told the woman the track number and she replied, "OK, like usual" and off she went. Turns out my blind companion has been commuting for 20 years and each day she faces some peril which she inevitably has to overcome. I had a 20 minute glimpse into her world and, oh how tough it must be. If you hear me complain about stupid stuff, tell me to shut up. I couldn't have scripted a better start to the Holiday Weekend.”


As our follower reminds us, Memorial Day is for honoring (and remembering) all the brave people who fought for our country. Let’s not forget all the brave civilians who fight hard daily just to get through the day.

Let’s finish this short week strong and be thankful for what we’ve got. Keep the great comments coming.


TAGS:  Memorial Day weekend. Courage of the blind. Writing for non-writers

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