Through A Turnstile

I honestly couldn’t tell you what I was coming home from that day. I can tell you that was in the middle of the afternoon, just as the weather was starting to get warm, and the subway station was more crowded than usual that day. People were bustling to and fro, scrambling to enjoy the wonderful weather in the park near my stop, and nothing seemed more far-fetched than someone moving slowly. That's probably why I remember what I saw: the two people were moving at barely a crawl, almost as if in resistance to the speed of the day.

They were the kind of people who look as if they’ve aged into a comfortable, leisurely agreement with the universe. But it wasn’t their age that made them real to me. He was blind, you see, and they’d come to enjoy the sunshine at Prospect Park, and she was helping him with gentle, infinite care make his way through the subway station's turnstile. She was standing close enough behind him that I'm sure he could feel the concern radiating off of her, a single hand poised with fingers gracefully brushing his spine in silent support, face utterly attentive to his body’s every shift as he slowly shuffled forward, his own hands pressed to the turnstile, back bent as he slowly pushed through.

Neither of them were pushing hard, but there was a weight to their interaction, a weight borne not out of any physical force by of time. It was a weight borne of mornings waking up next to each other and meals made side-by-side, of days and weeks and months leaning on each other in a hundred little ways. It was a weight borne of a thousand thousand moments, of arguments and making up and support. It was their history that was so vibrantly communicated by that gentle, shuffling touch, history that they built together through myriad moments in which they shares something real. I wasn’t there for any of those moments, but in that brief, fleeting glance they, and what they helped build, and what they had shared, were as massively, powerfully real to me as if I’d witnessed every one.

I didn’t see them for more than a moment, because I was hungry and lunch was in the apartment and the subway was uncomfortably warm, but as I left the station I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. There was just something about the two of them, something that radiated all they felt for each other from that once monetary glance. It was a moment in which I could see the years of care and comfort, through happiness and sorrow and changes innumerable, that had led them to that moment of gentle, quiet support. It was moment in which their love and their life was just as real to me as it was to them, a moment in which I wish I’d had a camera.

With excitement and optimism,