The Jamaican Dreamer
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Student Life

Who Do You Meet On The Subway?

The Jamaican Dreamer.

Who Do You Meet On The Subway?
Chloé Bergeron

5:45 on a Wednesday
NYC Subway from Manhattan to Queens.

Connection on the metroChloé Bergeron

Last Wednesday, when I was leaving the tea time and on the squished subway, I was pushed close to a man named Daniel. When I entered the subway, he said "hey, have you considered being a model?" and I replied with "I'm 5'4 so no, haha, but thanks for the compliment." A pick-up line that would start the next hour of conversation. We were so close, both holding onto the same bar, and both going to Queens, an hour ride, so I figured why not make conversation? Who cares that he's a 30 something-year-old larger male? He's human. I'm human. And we are here on this humid bus for the next 50 minutes inches apart. So I kept up the conversation, and I'm glad I did.

It's easy to walk down a street or enter a subway and see people and make accusations of them. But do you really know them? What are their thoughts? Their fears? Their passions? Their loves and losses? The answer is don't. Think for a moment how complex you are as a person. There are things you lost. Passions you've found. Places you've been and experiences that only you have experienced. EVERYONE is that complex. The car you are riding next to has a human in it with complexities that you may never know. The person you saw walking his/her dog on the street today has a story and dreams and struggles. So why not keep up this conversation?

Daniel the Stranger is a Capricorn with a temper problem.

He's extremely sensitive and feels like society doesn't allow men to show their feelings as they should. He likes lions and feels as though his afro makes him look like one. He smokes weed every chance he gets because it makes him feel capable of achieving his dreams. It makes him positive in times when he's ready to give up. His dream is to live in California. He loves driving his car and hadn't partied for years. He partied for the first time in a while the night before our subway meeting and that's why he was taking the subway because he felt it wasn't safe for him to drive. He loves music and Hip-Hop dancing with his buddies (though he's insecure about his dancing talent). He showed me videos of him dancing. He was seriously impressive. He's from Jamaica and his biggest dream is to make it as a chef. He's a giant foodie. He wants to represent his roots and open a Jamaican Restuarant. He said that he makes killer Jamaican Chicken Curry. He currently lives with his cousin and owns a pizza food truck. "You have to start somewhere," he said to me optimistically. He has a passion for cross fit and cooking. He wants to make his momma proud and prove to the world that he is more than a color or an age or a stoner or a food-truck worker. He often feels his heart is too big for his body.

We ended the night with him telling me Jamaican clubs and restaurants that I must try because I've never had Jamaican food and we hugged as I left the subway. He wished me well and told me he could tell I was a person that could do whatever I set my mind to. He never was creepy, but genuinely seemed interested in telling me his passions and in listening to mine. He definitely thought I was older than I am, and I never corrected his thoughts, but I still feel like we connected. A man from Jamaica and a girl from a small town in Louisiana mingling in the city of dreams on a crowded subway. And I can't help but think that is our purpose.. all of us... we were meant to connect and learn and feel and hear and see the world through the eyes of all. Because no matter where we are from or what we want to do with the time we have, we all have hearts that feel and minds that seek to understand... and that's pretty special. Being scared can consume us. Being fearful can destroy us. We are meant to learn together. And when my friend Daniel opens that Jamaican restaurant in California as he has always wanted to, you can bet I'll be there to taste the best Jamaican Chicken Curry he's got.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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