Ironical

I’m on the 4 Train commuting to work this morning. Somewhere along the line, a couple blunders into the train. The woman takes a seat and the guy almost gets his jacket caught in the closing door.

“The fuck off of me. Give me my jacket,” he curses, but laughs at the same time.

Seems like someone’s had his liquid breakfast this morning, is in good spirits and, obviously, want to chat. I’m a magnet for such people, so I bury my head in my book. As we crawl by 33rd Street, he sets his eyes on me.

“Good book?”

I figure I only have one stop before I get out, so why the hell not talk to him.

“Yeah.” I say.

Turns out the guy is third or fourth-generation Irish-American on his way up to the Bronx to visit the Irish section there. He admits he knows a thing or two about drinking. (The woman meanwhile is saying out loud to no one in particular, “My god, they turned the heat up in here today. It’s getting so bad you almost have to ride the subway naked.” Seems she had a wee nip this morning as well.)

Nice guy. I wished him well.

Oh. The book I was reading: “A Drinking Life,” by Pete Hamill.

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