It’s the third time this week that I’ve seen a woman sobbing on the train. I can assume there’s something in the water as many do when teasing the Latino population for their high rate of procreation. I can say the three young Latinas are hormonal because Aunt Flo can be one hell of a bitch. But I know this isn’t the case for any of them.
I know why these women cry publicly without regard of watching spectators. I know why they are unaware or just don’t care that their mascara runs and streaks their trembling faces. It is usually because he cheated; he didn’t call; he retreated; he is gone.
And so they enter the train and sit alone with hardened faces. Expressions stoic like that of statues. A few stops later they watch as an affectionate couple hugs and kisses or they smile at a baby or get enough service on their cell phones to call a friend and tell their heart wrenching stories. That’s when the tears readily flow. Uncontrollable, genuine, sorrowful tears well up in their eyes and rush like the Mississippi. They wipe their eyes with every muffled cry, but their hands can’t keep up. So they give in. As if weeping in the shower or on the shoulder of a loved one, they forget they are on public transportation, surrounded by the watchful and concerned eyes of strangers.
I am the stranger who wishes to sit beside them all, one by one, to comfort them. I want to tell them to release their pain once and for all so they can move on. I want to remind them that he is living his life. He is not dwelling on the past and his world hasn’t stopped. The men they sob for aren’t crying on the train, or anywhere else for that matter, yet they do. Yet we do. I’ve been the girl who feels the pain of a love lost as if a knife were sharpened and jabbed into my heart. But why? Why do we as women allow one human being to destroy our confidence in an instant? Why do we as women base our self-worth on the actions of one or two or three individuals when so many others believe we are amazing? I’m not quiet sure. One thing I do know is that there will be another woman crying on the train. Though she will have other loves and successful relationships, in that moment, she will only feel and see her pain.
And I will be there, watching with concerned eyes, wishing to lend an ear and comfort her every time.