Lunch Post: The empty seat on the subway [UPDATED]

01.26.11

On his third day of life, our little guy, a month early and ramen-noodle-yellow with jaundice, was coccooned in a sling and carried on the subway to the doctor.

That was a strange experience, carrying the most precious of cargoes, all 5 1/2 pounds of him, on the NYC subway, tucked into an oversized bandanna. We got used to it, though, and he has grown up spinning around the poles of the G train, squished between hipsters and babushkas on the L train, forced to clutch a pole amid the flailing purses on the 6, his backpack clutched between his ankles.

Of all the challenges of subway travel, one we’ve never quite overcome is the hunt for a seat. If it’s crowded, I choose to stand; there’s always someone who needs it more than me, but I like to get the Little Man seated. Over the years I’ve read to him, drawn with him, even spoon-fed him when he was tiny, as I stood and swayed over him. Sometimes, there’s a precious empty seat, mysteriously vacant…mysterious until you take in the person in the seat next to it.

I think this must be one of Evil Rat Dude’s minions in this YouTube video.

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