Dear Girl On The Subway

Dear Girl on the Subway,

I look at you.

You look at me.

It’s awkward.

We both look away.

I’m sure your thoughts are similar to mine-

How are we so different?

We both associate ourselves with the same religion.

We are both trying to do what G-d wants, maybe you more than me.

We are both trying to figure out why G-d wants, maybe me more than you.

But each morning and night we still pray to the same G-d.

So why does the chasm between us feel uncrossable?

Why do I feel more like the stranger next to me, than like you, who has more in common with me?

How can our lives be so different that we can’t even imagine the others?

I see you and I put you in a box with hundreds of girls that look like you, but probably are nothing like you.

You look at me and I’m sure labels are placed the same way.

You probably dream at night like I do, you probably struggle with life’s small struggles like me.

You wear a headband and a skirt longer than mine, but we are both girls following the same Torah, and we are part of a family.

Who are you?

Where are you going?

This train goes to Flatbush and Manhattan, but I won’t make the assumption that Flatbush is your last stop, because it’s not mine.

We are more the same than we are different and that thought jolts me awake on that subway.

I spend my life finding the differences, as does everyone.

We may not agree on the details, but we all were one at Mt. Sinai, and we still have that.

I look at you.

You look at me.

I smile.

You smile back,

And we look away.

It may have just been a smile, but in it was all the lessons I learned on the subway today.