The sardine-like subway pulled away from the station. The one cute guy on the train exited at the Harvard stop and left me contemplating. I had been evesdropping on his conversation with his flirtatious coworker since Park Street. Now that he’s off the train, my mind wanders. Why wasn’t the flirtations conversation with me? Where’s my adorable blue-eyed companion on the T? As always, my irrational thoughts spiraled into a dark place, “I’ll never find him. I’ll never get married. Everyone is married. I’m the only single one left in the world. Definitely the last one in Massachusetts, and of course the very last in Boston.”
To torture myself further, I looked up for confirmation. I looked at each ring finger for fabulous, large diamonds and wedding bands. I know there would be gold and sparkles staring back at me from each hand gripping the guard rail. I looked around. I scanned each finger. I leaned back to see a different crop of subway-riders. I searched and searched.
What did I find? Not a subway full of wedding bands, no. I found a subway car full of ringless fingers. For as far as I could see, each naked hand proudly held on to a pole. No one’s engagement ring caught the lights as the train pulled out of the station. No one’s private engravings touched the hairs below their knuckles.
It was as if God sent me a singles-only subway ride. He knew I’d try to convince myself that I’m the only single one left (which isn’t hard as not one of my friends identifies as single). He knew I’d try to convince myself that everyone around me had a wedding picture hanging in their living room. He also knew I needed reassurance that I didn’t walk this Earth as the last lacking a partner.
In fact, everyone on that trip to Porter Square led a single-life like mine. Maybe, they too only spend $30 grocery shopping once a month because one mouth to feed doesn’t cost much. Maybe, they too rarely make their bed because no one else sleeps in it. Maybe, they too do whatever they want, whenever they want, without consulting another human being. Maybe, they too have days when they think they are the last single person left, but then realize that the single life kind of rocks.