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Now I see how what I read in the paper happens. Yesterday after work I was making my way uptown to a class I have on Wednesday nights. As I was walking to my usual place on the D Train's platform on 34th Street, I moved to get out of the way of a girl who appeared to be maybe somewhere between 19 and 22. She had on some Chuck Taylor-ish type sneakers, some skinny black checked pants, a hoodie and a jacket.

She moved in the same direction as I and we had a collision. I'm sure there isn't even a number that goes high enough to count how many times this happens on any given day in the city of eight million stories. She bounced hard off my chest, I stopped and looked at her, completely stunned that she would walk right into me when clearly I was trying to avoid her. She looked away. Maybe she thought I was menacing too. Normally I apologize for stuff like this, even when I'm not wrong, but I think I was too caught off guard to do so. Life goes on, and I had a train to catch. I moved around her to walk away and this little girl elbowed me as I walked past her --- she did it with my back turned for cryin' out loud! I looked over my shoulder the way one might when someone tells them they have a stain on their back. I thought three singular things in this exact order: cops, newspapers, my daughter. If I had raised a hand to that girl I wouldn't be typing about what happened right now. I can only imagine the ridiculous headline the NY Post would have splashed on today's paper: "Subway Fiend, Father of Two, Throws Helpless, Angelic White Girl onto Train Tracks", or whatever.

Honestly I gave it no thought and didn't even get angry --- not even enough to call her a name. I've never promoted myself as a tough guy and I'm not going to sit here and say, "Oh she's lucky I'm a nice guy." What I will say is that she's lucky she didn't pull such a stupid, punk move with someone who has no regard for others or some headstrong teenager. She walked away probably thinking she showed me when in actuality, she walked away with her life. On the train ride to my class I was in shock that, 1) I had no reaction whatsoever, no fear, no anger and damn near oblivious; and 2) A girl, in some goofball act to assert herself, or vent the frustrations of the day, or as I said earlier, fight off this menacing black man, would so reckless jeapordize her own safety and mine --- we were inches from the edge of the platform. It scared me to think of what my daughter might do if ever faced with the same situation.

When I got in last night and put my daughter to bed, I prayed over her. Praying that I be the kind of father who teaches her right and wrong and how to protect herself and how to use wisdom over emotion. I prayed for myself because I can't believe I've become this numb to my surroundings. There are just too many people in this city. Everyone's going somewhere and everyone's in someone else's way. This little incident could've ended up so much worse for that girl and I. I'm very thankful it didn't.

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