Stand Up On The Train

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

She’s got auburn hair, a blue cottony zip-up sweater, and navy blue uniform pants. She gets on the train searching left and right, for a face perhaps. She’s slightly jolted when the blonde woman in the velvet-black suit jacket and sharp black heels.

She’s standing there, exasperated, but looking straight ahead. At what, I’m not sure. No one else notices because everyone on this train looks outward, but in no particular direction. The looks of nothingness last as long as the train ride does. IPods and smartphones light hands and eyes up, headphones tangled around their heads, and passengers try to avoid each others’ shoulders.

The young woman continues to look straight ahead. This time, I do too. But this was different.

She was directly in front of me now, unable to hug the pole directly in front of her fully. She doesn’t have enough room in front of her.

Her stomach shook a bit even as the train stood still, and whether I realized it or not, my fatherly instincts kicked in.

Something told me “Stand up.” I did. I saw the young lady mouth “Thank you” as my earphones blared Kendrick Lamar.

She rubbed her belly, hoping to tuck it in before she went to school. Bellies don’t often cooperate with our intentions. She looked left and right, searching for something. What, I’m not sure.

As I stood, I had questions that weren’t any of my business. I just settled for standing with my coffee for two long stops. My burdens aren’t as heavy as my blessings.

I’m hoping she realizes that, too.

Jose, who’s not quite back yet …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 1

Leave a Reply