Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A sincere smile

I used to see Anthony standing along the wall of the steep pathway leading from the #6 train down to the #7 platform. He was on crutches and was missing his right leg, his pants folded back on that side. Had an old black Bible in one hand and was always fingering a rosary with the other. He must have been about 35 or so. Never asked for money, but many of us gave it to him because of his sincere smile.

I would take the #6 from 96th street down to Grand Central Station and then transfer to the #7 to get across town to Times Square, which was two blocks from where I worked. It was easier than the shuttle to my way of thinking.

So I would sort of gallop-walk down that ramp, and most mornings I’d see Anthony.

He always smiled and said, Good morning, brother! I would shake his hand though it was dirty and cigarette stained, and I felt guilty afterwards because I wanted to wash up.

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