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on the subway

I squeeze in the middle seat next to a short, round guy with doe eyes and a shaved head. He adjusts a little, but he’s still got half my seat.

“I’m sorry,” he says, in the gentlest voice. “I’m getting off at the next stop and I’m really uncomfortable and that’s why I’m still sitting like this all spread out.”

“It’s okay,” I tell him. “I’ve got enough room.” I’ve turned and looked him in the eye. I’m smiling, it’s really all right. For some reason I want him to know that.

He looks at me a minute. “You know, I don’t have a valentine, and that’s okay. At my age, I realize that love is my valentine. Just love. You can share love with your family, your aunt, your brother, your pet, your cousin, you can share it with everybody.”

“You can share my seat,” I tell him.

“See, it’s beautiful right? Happy valentine’s day,” he says, rising toward the door as the train slows its way into the station.


Tags: men

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