And another thing

This evening as I was waiting with my friend Cynthia for a subway train, I saw a serious looking young man pacing up and down the platform. I noticed him because he was wearing a bright red shirt that said “Thing 2”, just like the one worn by the character in The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss.

I remember thinking that he looked a bit sad, this Thing 2, and also that it was strange, given the choice, that someone would choose to be Thing 2, rather than Thing 1. I wanted to cheer him up by telling him I thought he had a cool shirt. But I felt it would be a little odd to go up to a total stranger on a New York City subway platform, just to say something like that.

After a few minutes the train arrived and Cynthia and I boarded and found seats. As luck would have it, the young man came into the same car and sat down right next to us. Seeing my chance, I turned to him and said “Hey, I really like your shirt.” He gave a sheepish smile, the kind of smile that says “this wasn’t really my idea.”

He explained to us that only a few minutes earlier he been hanging out with his girlfriend, and that she was Thing 1. I solemnly assured him that I understood, and we all agreed that this was just as it should be.

After that he seemed happier.

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