“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is an important announcement from the New York City Police Department. Protect yourself. If you see a suspicious activity on the platform or train,
DO NOT KEEP IT TO YOURSELF…”
I cast a glance to my left. There was a bag sitting by itself on a seat. I raised an eyebrow at the gentleman sitting to the left of the bag. Then back down at the bag.
“Oh! I’m sorry. That’s my bag,” he apologized. “I’m just lazy, I guess.” He pulled the bag onto his lap and straightened up in his seat.
“No problem,” I relaxed. “As a New Yorker, I just wasn’t sure whether I was ‘seeing something,’ and whether or not I should ‘say something’.”
He laughed, and inquired about the bag on my lap. My tour bag.
“Are those bloody footprints?” he referred to the design on my canvas tote.
“Yup!” I beamed. “I do ghost tours!”
“No way,” he doubted, incredulously.
“Absolutely! Here’s the information!” I pulled a card out of the bag and showed him.
“Tour guide? And that pays the bills?” my new friend raised an eyebrow.
“Well, I also work full time at a candy store. Greeting people, telling them where the bathrooms are, feeding them candy. Basically in all spheres I get paid to talk to strangers,” I joked with a slight wink. “But enough about me. What do you do?”
“Oh, I work at a bank,” he slumped in his seat. “But I’m really a musician. I just came from a gig. Jazz piano.”
“Oh? Do you know Todd Robbins? He plays piano in Woody Allen’s band!”
“I can’t say I do know him, but…how do you know him?”
I laughed. “Well, he’s a carny, and I worked for a magician when I first moved here four years ago…”
“Magic, ghosts, candy. You have a fun life.”
I turned serious for a moment: “You know in high school, when they ask what you what to do with your life? Well, the only answer I could really settle on was, ‘I want to live an unusual life’.”
“Well, it sounds like you’re living the dream,” he nodded thoughtfully. “I’m Fred.”
“Meghan,” I replied, shaking his outstretched hand. “If you ever want to take a ghost tour, or eat some candy, I can hook you up.”