Waiting for the subway is a curious thing.

We all stand and wait, inches away from strangers - watching everyone, but pretending to be completely anonymous and blind.

But watch we certainly do, and the subway is a vast collection of things to see.

Sunday afternoon. Senses heightened by Requiem for a Dream I stand about and wait in Union Square for the damn 6 Train that's going to take me home to my comfortable little place.

The woman standing next to me has a little boy. He and I exchange smiles. She's busy digging in her purse for some candy to give him. And something falls out onto the ground. Shape unmistakable: there's nothing so obvious as a condom.

And my first reaction, I gotta admit, is: Lady, that ain't no candy. And since we're all voyeurs down here underground, all eyes turn and blink. And the woman stares down with that slight expression of taboos violated - the private brought into the public space - her life on display for us.

But the real hero of the story is the little one. Without batting an eye he kneels down, picks it up, and hands it her with the most innocent Mommy, you dropped this.

And nothing is out of the ordinary at all.

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