The Stranger and The Muffin and The Train

This is a tale of love and loss.

Cole and I sometimes joke about how old and boring we are, you know, like people do? People are always talking about how old they feel!

Nobody ever gets out of bed in the morning and declares, “OH MAN. I feel so YOUNG today!” Kids don’t even do that!

We are both 26, but we are seriously, seriously boring. What saves us is that combined, we have the ultimate sense of humor. You should see us come up with secret handshakes, you guys! Last night, in our kitchen, we pretended not to see each other so that we could practice a new handshake. Cole was on his phone and I was whistling, and walking in a circle around the table.

We live in the city that never sleeps even though we average 10-12 hours every night, depending on how bad our backs hurt. Last week we went OUT. TOGETHER. A friend was doing some stand-up at UCB, so we went to see it. On the way to the train we stopped to get “a treat.” Like old people do. We (I) bought a package of very expensive little cookies. There were three in the package. Roughly, I’d say it was about $1.25 per miniature cookie. That was the first mistake. Cole ate one of the cookies and put the rest in his pocket. I was not ready for a cookie, but I was definitely looking forward to eating one later. Mistake numero deux!

The THIRD mistake was a legit mistake, because we got on the wrong train and ended up in Park Slope! Eventually, the correct train came along and we got on it. So did a woman with a Dunkin’ Donuts bag and a bottle of Yoo Hoo. The train was quiet, and mostly empty. She sat across from us.

We were spacing off, not talking, like boring people, when we heard the sound of a paper bag and a grunt/sigh. As a female, I recognized the sound immediately. This was a “food moan.” Sure enough, our neighbor was cradling a chocolate muffin. Cradling. I couldn’t tell if she was going to devour it or tell it a story and rock it to sleep. I hoped she would do all of the above. Free theatre!

Time went by. Cole and were I discussing some boring stuff. Suddenly, something bounced off my foot. It was the muffin.


She ran over and picked it up. She was devastated, like any mother who has just dropped her baby on the floor of the subway. She squatted in front of us, as she put it back in the bag, sadly.

“Oh man. I’m sorry,” I said. “We know how excited you were about that muffin.”

We chatted with her about her loss. And then, in a spontaneousy burst of humanity, Cole realized he had two cookies left. (One of those was supposed to be mine, right).

“I know it’s not a muffin, but you can have a cookie if you’d like.”

By this time the woman (I should really say “girl.” She was maybe 20. I’m not sure what the girl/woman cut off is) was back in her seat across from us. Out of politeness, she acted skeptical about the cookies. And then she levitated over to us, like people do when they’re about to get a free treat, and she TOOK BOTH OF THE COOKIES.

Later, Cole noticed that she was staring at her bottle of Yoo Hoo like she had never seen the color yellow. We decided she was “high as shit.”

Cole and I got off the train and had a good long laugh! Then we went to the show and we were back to Brooklyn and in bed by 10:30.

I used to have this acting teacher who would tell us, “Every little moment has a meaning all it’s own.” Cole and I don’t need to have crazy lives like people on TV. Besides, I hit my face on the wall while I’m sleeping at least once a week. Life is full of little surprises.