On the Train

12 consecutive days in the gym with my fractured foot; I’m charging around more and more.

I’ve been on and off subway over past week. I refuse to be bedridden.

Heading out to see my girlfriend today, large bouquet in hand, book bag on back. Air cast in place, doing its thing.

Got on 9 train, similar to how I’d just gotten on 4 train and 10 train before that.

Immediately, a relatively young Chinese lady approached:

“Sit down, sit. You have a broken leg,” she said in English.

“没事,没事,” I responded. It’s nothing, it’s nothing.

She insisted.

I thanked her. Then thanked her again.

I sat, then realized my headphones had gotten twisted up in my book bag strap.

A grandmother to my right reached over and began untwisting the headphone cord.

As she did this, older man to my left seemed especially curious. Staring hard at me, then flowers.

Stiff, straightened back. Head tilting toward me. He definitely wants to smell these flowers.

”真的?” he asked. Are they real?

I told him yes. They’re for my girlfriend. Big smile broke out on his face.

He leaned down and smelled the flowers.

Listening to music again later, but not too soon as I didn’t want to look as though I was eager to block everyone out. I wasn’t.

Periodically, man on right would tilt forward, enraptured by bouquet.

I held flowers toward him. He took another hit.

Just before exiting train, his entire nose drifted into flowers one more time. This time completely of his own volition.

Shanghai, China. Saturday. No better place to be.

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