He Danced Like Nobody’s Watching

I snagged a nice seat by the back door of the subway car. Morning rush hour and I was grateful to be able to sit, rest my backpack in my lap, and get out my phone to scroll.

Distracted by movement I looked up. In front of me a fellow rider had chosen to stand in front of the subway car doorway. He held onto the rail that ran above his head with both hands. And he was dancing.

On the balls of his sneakered feet, twisting this way, that, dipping, rising, bouncing, to the rhythms flowing from the white earbuds tight in his ears, no sound escaping.

He was so unassuming, his uninhibited, self-absorbed dance was unexpected. I studied him in front of me. He was medium height, dark skin, chunky in build. Behind his covid mask was a salt and pepper beard. He was dressed in classic, embarrassing Dad pants; brown canvas with big cargo pockets on the sides. Black polo shirt buttoned up except for the very last button, black bomber jacket, black baseball hat. Clean, neat, boring. But- a stripe of tropical sea turquoise ran along his city-size backpack and again on his sneakers.

He wasn’t stopping; he danced his small dance as the train rumbled on, with a kind of contained exuberance.

As my eyes took him in, his hands released the bar and he took a little spin. I wanted to catch it, what he had.

Photo credit: dcist.com


7 thoughts on “He Danced Like Nobody’s Watching

  1. Fran, this is delightful!

    That last sentence –
    As my eyes took him in, his hands released the bar and he took a little spin. I wanted to catch it, what he had.

    That’s just perfect! Yes, we all need what he had. It’d be a great first line, too, of your novel. I often see people as characters in books and wonder how they would mix and mingle and the conflicts I’d see even if I knew all their stories. This guy, though,…..I see him as the rhythm master. Sorting it all out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fran, I like Kim’s comment above. Maybe your character sees this character on the NY subway in your novel!! As for posting, I don’t get wordpress rules but when I add three dots and then paste my blog post address, it always works so that what I do every week. Keep being observant. Small moments to capture everywhere, even on the Metro!!

    Liked by 1 person

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