January 30th, 2014
“Oh, look at this!” She said, her shaky Jewish accent racketing across the subway, “A Safari adventure.”
She held out the travel brochure. The other two ladies ooh-ed and aah-ed over the prospective travel experiences while clutching the subway bars.
“Ooh, exquisite, I’m sure.”
She studied the colorful travel brochure like a highschooler studying for the SAT.
“Well, look at this.” She pointed a knobby finger. “They have a trip to Paris – ‘See the Land of Love and Art’. And look at this: they have a trip to Japan, too. ‘A timeless trip to an ancient land.”
“Oh, that’s very nice. Paris is so nice, you would love it.”
“I’ve been to Japan, beautiful, just beautiful.”
The ladies’ Jewish accents filled the near empty subway car. A couple of passengers stepped out of the car as it stopped.
“What stop do you get off at again, Margie?” The lady holding the brochure asked.
“Oh, we both get off at the Dekalb stop.” She answered, nodding excessively.
“Oh, that’s right – Dekalb.” She turned back to the brochure.
“I think you would really like Paris. It’s so exotic, and romantic”
“Oh, yes, exotic and romantic.”
She leaned over and looked into the brochure.
“But it’s expensive.”
“Japan is expensive too, y’know.”
“Not nearly as expensive as Paris.”
“You’d be surprised.”
The lady with the brochure broke the fluid Jewish-accented conversation.
“I think I’ll go to South Africa.”
They both looked at her, surprised at the sudden declaration of freedom and wanderlust.
“Oh, honey, you’ll probably never go there. You’d be better off just staying in Brooklyn. You wouldn’t enjoy South Africa. It’s not like the movies, you know.”
“And it’s almost as expensive as Paris.”
“But not as expensive as Japan. You’d like Japan, you really would.”
“You’ve been in Brooklyn so long, you feel more comfortable here than anywhere in the world. How long have you lived here? 33 years?”
“32, don’t get ahead of yourself, dearie.”
“Alright, 32 years and you haven’t left the country once. No need to start now. You probably shouldn’t go anywhere.”
The train slowed and the three ladies gripped the hand rails.
“Oh, look, this is our stop. Well, enjoy the ride, Dearie, and we’ll see you for book club tomorrow.”
They waddled off the train and onto the platform. As the doors closed, she heard them yammering away about their trips to Japan and France and how she wouldn’t like South Africa.
She continued to study the brochure. Her forehead creased as she looked at the picture of the African Sunset, the Japanese city of Tokyo, and the Eiffel tower. She didn’t realize when the train stopped at her station. She was lost in the brochure with stamp-sized glimpses of the world.
The train kept going. She looked up.
The train had taken her to the airport – The very last stop.
She got off and looked around. She looked down the steps leading to the platform to the return train.
“You’ll never go anywhere.”
She almost turned around and took the train back.
But she didn’t.
She bought a ticket to the Airtrain and took it to Terminal six at JFK.
Margie would definitely not be seeing her at Book club tomorrow.
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