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(133,148 posts)
Sun Jun 9, 2024, 03:13 PM Jun 9


Solo Trip
Dear Diary:

At 35, I set off on my first solo trip to the Upper West Side. My husband and I were visiting his parents on Long Island, and I was going into the city to spend a few days with my sister.

Dragging a small roller bag, I found my way to the correct subway line and even found a seat. A gaggle of teenage girls sat across from me. Their liveliness reminded me of my teenage self.

At the next stop, a young man with a rolled towel tucked under his arm entered the car and sat next to me. I continued to look straight ahead. My eyes were focused just above the teenagers’ heads.

Suddenly, I detected some motion from the young man’s direction in my peripheral vision. Knowing that subway etiquette dictated I remain totally oblivious, I continued looking straight ahead even though I could still see small movements to the side.

I noticed the teenage girls becoming quite animated, their eyes moving from my face to whatever was moving next to me. Eventually, their excitement prompted me to look to the side.

The towel was now unwrapped, and standing in the young man’s lap was a pigeon, which he was stroking with a toothbrush to the bird’s apparent pleasure.

I can only imagine my expression as I faced front again. When I did, the teenagers burst out laughing.

Thankfully, the next stop was mine.

— Barbara Y. Phillips

Staten Island Ferry
Dear Diary:

For most of my adult life, I lived on Staten Island and commuted to Manhattan for various jobs in the financial district. Most days I drove my car to the Staten Island Ferry terminal to catch the boat to Manhattan.

One day when I was driving to the terminal, I noticed a smell that seemed to be coming from the car’s engine compartment.

After parking and getting out of the vehicle, I leaned over the hood with my nose slightly against it to quickly check whether the smell was indeed coming from my car.

Not smelling anything, I began to walk toward the terminal. As I did, I heard a woman just behind me speak.

“Now I’ve seen everything,” she said. “You just kissed your car goodbye.”

— Philip Peters


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