Subway Stranger Danger

The scene opens. He is a Channing Tatum look-alike circa 2008, except less cute. She is a magazine editor on her way to work. Our heroine woke up late this morning and isn’t wearing any makeup, hoping to put a bit on at her desk. She also didn’t have time to moisturize and is resigned to the fact that December air on dehydrated black skin is akin to something out of Saw XXVIII, and you know those only get more depraved as the franchise goes on. She pulls out The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson and starts reading.

Him: How do I get to—

He glances at his phone to double-check the address. She wonders if he is really going to interrupt her without even offering an apology first.

Him: (smiles sheepishly) Sorry. I’m from Chicago. How do I get to 34th street?

She starts to give him directions, noticing his more than passing resemblance to the Channing Tatum picture she had as her Facebook profile picture for a span of months in 2008.


He is even wearing a sideways hat and huge sneakers, like Channing did in Step Up. It is like this stranger got dressed just for her.

Him: Thanks. My car is at the impound lot. 36 hours. Gotta get home.

She nods but does not ask for clarification. She really just does not need to know. Our protagonist dives back into her book.

Him: You like psychology books?

She internally laments for a moment that most people, unless they have given themselves the gift that is binging on James Patterson’s brilliant literary combination of psychology and crime, would simply categorize his work as mysteries. She decides to keep it simple.

Her: It’s not really about psychology.

Him: I read a lot of James Patterson.

Hello, dreamboat.

Her: (clearly shocked) Wow. I don’t know many guys who do.

He smiles so slowly that she is bathed in a full-on ray of Channing light, and it is like the next words reach her through a fog.

Him: I was in jail. For drugs. I don’t do them anymore, but I was selling.

And there it is.

Addendum: I RESENT that spell check is telling me I wrote Channing wrong. As. If. This is like when it tried to tell me Simba wasn’t a thing.


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