It started off as any other interaction.
It was morning and I was on my way out of town.
I get on the subway train. There’s an open seat next to a girl, so I immediately sit down next to her.
She seemed cute. Not super cute but cute enough to talk to. I hadn’t talked to anyone yet that day, so she would do as well as anyone else.
She was reading her iphone intently and sipping an iced coffee.
I turn to her and ask her if there’s a zoo in central park.
She looks up at me and responds. She’s smiling and answering my questions.
But the interaction doesn’t `hook’ and she turns her attention back to her phone and continues reading.
No biggie. Happens a lot, particularly on the first few interactions of the day.
I look back down at my phone.
Then it happens.
I notice a young black woman nonchalantly walk over and stand in front of the girl I just talked with.
She’s standing there holding onto the bar in front of the sitting girl.
Then, all of a sudden, she reaches down and tries to grab the girl’s iphone.
At first I didn’t realize what was going on. I wasn’t sure if the woman standing was a friend of hers just joking around.
The girl sitting yanks her iphone back. As she does, iced coffee ends up spilling all over me.
Seeing that she’s failed at the robbery, the woman standing nonchalantly walks back over to the doorway of the train and continues to do what she was doing previously: sudoko.
Everyone in the vicinity is looking at what happened with a `what the fuck’ look on their face.
The girl apologizes to me for spilling her coffee on me. To be honest, I don’t remember exactly what I said. Probably, “No problem” or something.
The strangest part is that the woman is just standing over there in the doorway as if nothing happened.
The girl next to me gets up at the next stop and walks out a different door. Before she leaves she apologizes to me again, even though she’s flustered. Again, I say, don’t worry about it.
It was weird because nobody really knew what to do in that situation. The woman by the door was young and tall. She was built and androgynous. I even questioned whether she was guy.
She stood there for a few more stops with her pencil in hand doing her sudoku puzzle and then eventually got off.
Part of me felt like maybe I should have said something to the woman who just tried to rob someone else. But what good would that have done.
Weird situation. Never seen anything like that in NYC.
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