Day 636: Token gesture

I think I had my most awkward good-deed moment ever today. I was standing on the streetcar feeling mighty tired when I saw an open seat near the front.

Well, half an open seat. A young guy was sitting by the window on a diagonal so that he was taking up  half of the seat next to him. Too tired to care, I settled for half a seat and sort of perched on the edge of it, leaning into the aisle.

The guy looked shocked someone sat down but instead of moving over and making more room, he pulled out a handful of bus tokens from his pocket.

He asked me if I wanted to buy a bunch from him so he could get something to eat. He was in his early twenties, with a scruffy beard, dirty blond curly hair and worn jeans.

I took some money from my wallet, gave it to him and told him he could hang on to his tokens.

That’s where the awkwardness came in. Normally, if a stranger asks me for money I either give them some and keep walking or just keep walking.

‘What do I do now?’ I wondered. He’d turned to stare out the window so chatting about the weather didn’t seem like an option. Nor did rudely getting up and moving to the back of the streetcar.

I was still perched on half a seat so getting up actually seemed like the most comfortable option but also the most obnoxious.

Just when I decided I was overreacting and should just sit back and enjoy my half-seat back to the subway, he decided to stand and get off the streetcar.

As he squished past me, I noticed he had a squeegee stuffed in his back pocket, which is probably why he was sitting diagonally in the first place.

I’m curious, what would you guys have done? Stayed put? Stood up? Asked him to squeegee your glasses? Please let me know in the comments.

P.S. Very cool video of a sunrise over a beach (that I found HERE). Enjoy!

P.P.S. New Yorker cartoon from HERE.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Day 636: Token gesture

  1. I think I’d do the same as you. Give him some cash, tell him to hang onto his tokens (plus, as you know I have a very shiny metropass), and kept my half-seat. Better than any of the alternatives.

    Sounds like he could have been feeling a bit awkward too, which might’ve been why he got up.

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