Under the Mercury retrograde

Some days, despite all the things that happen, I’m just in love with the world – or maybe because of them.

It all started when my friend Cos called. Now, since her fiance moved in, I don’t talk to her much and see her even less. “When are we going to do something? When will I see you?” I said.

“By the time I got done driving around all day, I just want to come home and see Sid,” she said. “I’m really tired.”

“When was the last time you saw me?” I said.

“But I don’t wanna drive,” she said.

I told her to quit whining. Then we worked out a compromise: I would take the train to the station near her house and she’d pick me up. Simple, right?

Wrong. I took the wrong R8 train – the one to Lansdale, not Chestnut Hill. (The mood was less grim, due to a jolly group of office workers who’d had their Christmas luncheon today and were puzzling out loud over a list of anagrams.) I stayed on the train, thinking it would merely become the other R8 – but somehow, it became an R1. So I got off the R1 and took another train back to 30th St. (my boss, who’s a train freak, would be so proud) – which is not enclosed.

Not only was the Chestnut Hill West train not for another half-hour, it was running ten minutes late, anyway. Since 30th St. has outdoor platforms, I was freezing. Finally, I gave up and took the R7 home instead because, well, it showed up two minutes later.

There were two adorable little girls on the train – one black, one Asian. The little black girl was dressed in a very puffy lavender fake-fur coat and hat, and she kept peeking out from behind her mother’s arm (which was holding an infant in a baby pack), smiling and waving at the little Asian girl. The other little girl just kept laughing, bouncing up and down on her mother’s lap.

The lavender puff-ball girl and her mother got off at my stop. Mom had a huge diaper bag slung across her back and was trying to hold her daughter’s hand as we made it down the station steps. “Would you like some help?” I said.
She gratefully agreed, and I took her daughter’s hand.

“How old are you?” I asked.

“Tell the lady how old you are, Lianna,” her mother said.

“Two,” she said, bashful.

“Two?” I said, mock-incredulous. “You’re so big, I thought you were three.”

“No, I’m two.”

They were met at the station by the little girl’s aunt, who scooped her up in her arms. It made me smile, all the way back to my car.

I loved my day today.