Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Tag: ttc

The Subway

I look up and down the length of the subway train while we are still in the station. There are no partitions between the cars on these newer trains. I’m able to see all the way down in both directions. I’ve never been able to do this before. It’s nice to be able to see to the ends of the train.

And it stays that way for little bit as we pull out of the station. But then, suddenly, everything goes wrong. The cars ahead of me veer off to the side. I look behind me and those cars are also twisting back and forth, crooked and foolish. My car is the only one that remains straight, as far as I can see. I’m fortunate to have walked onto this particular one, I guess.

But then I walk a little, just to see what’s going on with the car next to me. It does not seem quite as crooked as the ones beyond it. Funny, when I get there and look back, the car I was on now seems a little crooked, and this one seems straight. And when I stand on the moving hinge between them, everything seems to be bending and twisting.

Then the train stops. I can see all the way the train again. I wonder if any of us really were crooked. I wonder why I judged silly subway cars on how straight they seemed in the first place.

Love on the TTC

I sat under the brightly-lit overhang at Kipling Station, waiting for the 45 to take me to work.  The night was bright and living, a perfect urban evening.  A girl sat on the bench next to me, hugging her knees and hiding her face.  A boy sat on the bench next to her, trying very hard to look the other way.  When the 45 came, he mumbled something to her and walked off.  She dried her eyes and followed him.  I followed them both onto the bus.  They sat together and I sat across from them and pretended to read.

They were angry at each other.  Or sad at each other.  Or just tired.  They were probably going to spend the whole trip sad at each other.


But then one of them spoke to the other.  And the other said something back.  And they were talking.  I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but I could feel it.  I could feel the sadness in the girl’s voice and its mirror in the boy’s.  The girl fidgeted with the boy’s backpack while she talked.  The boy started to look at her face instead of the floor.  They sounded defensive.  They sounded accusatory.  But they kept talking anyway, even though it looked like the words were making them feel worse.

Then there was a sudden and startling change.

The girl threw her arms around him with a sudden sob.  The boy squeezed her tight and said something loud and affectionate.  Something that spoke of promise.  The girl laughed.  The boy kissed her on the mouth and she melted into it.  Others on the bus grew embarrassed.  I grinned at them.

Thank you, you delicious people who refuse to settle for sadness and broken relationships.  Thank you for sharing peace with each other in a public place so I could watch and remember that peace is out there for anyone who wants it.

And thanks for wanting it.