Sweet BART Moment

December 1st, 2005

So I was taking BART from rainy Berkeley to just-as-rainy San Francisco this morning, and I was hunched over Po Bronson's marvelous new book, Why Do I Love These People?: Honest and Amazing Stories of Real Families. (I'll be interviewing the author at tomorrow's taping.) As I read through these truly amazing accounts of people trying (despite everything) to connect with each other, I kind of blocked out a conversation that was happening right next to me: a man and woman animatedly discussing ... something. As I said, I was engrossed in the book. But I did get the sense that these were not long-time acquaintances -- coworkers or lovers -- but rather were people who had perhaps just met on this train, or maybe had met briefly once before: they were friendly with each other, but not intimate.

So we go under the Bay, and then the woman gets out at Embarcadero. The doors close, and as the train starts to pull out from the station, another woman, across the aisle, calls out, "Her umbrella!" I look up from my book, and see a jolly-looking, red-and-pink umbrella leaning against the side of my seat. Then, a bit farther away, I see the man -- who moments ago had been in conversation with the departed woman -- staring at the umbrella. At first he doesn't move -- he just keeps staring, but as he does so he begins to smile and blush. It's as if he's building up the courage to reach out and take the umbrella. Finally, tentatively, he picks it up.

The man realizes that we are all staring at him. Regarding the umbrella in his hand, he says, to no one in particular (and in a light European accent): "This could give me a reason to see her again." Then, smiling, he disembarks at the Montgomery station. ...

BART intimates life?

Entry Filed under: let's digress


  • 1. Lori  |  December 13th, 2005 at 2:14 pm

    I had a “sweet Muni moment” today. Actually it was a Muni bus yard moment. A Muni worker on her lunch break called a passing homeless man over to the fence. She reached through the bars to hand him a wrapped package. He opened it and was surprised to find a sandwich inside. He looked genuinely amazed by this simple, spontaneous act of generosity and said “oh wow, thanks!” Since I had just moments before been grumbling to myself about the grubbiness of the neighborhood as I carried my own hot lunch back to work, it made me feel sheepish to see someone calmly hand theirs over to someone who needed it more. So here’s to not only talking to a stranger this month… but helping one out.

  • 2. Josh Kornbluth  |  December 21st, 2005 at 1:03 pm

    A wonderful sentiment, Lori — and thanks for helping me out so much as my devoted series producer!

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