Browsers may block some cookies by default. Click accept to allow advertising partners to use cookies and serve more relevant ads. Visit our privacy policy page for more information.

These Stories About Unforgettable Strangers Will Definitely Make You Think


 A few years ago I went to see Inside Llewyn Davis at a movie theatre in lower Manhattan. What I thought was truly amazing about the movie was that a hundred people could watch it and every single person would have seen a different movie. 

After, I was waiting on the subway platform for few minutes when I made eye contact with a pretty girl with long brown hair. She came up to me and asked me how long I had been waiting for the train. “Not long,” I said. Normally, that would be the end of the conversation. I don’t like talking to strangers. I find it stressful and terrifying. But for some reason, I kept the conversation going. I asked her where she was going. “Penn Station,” she said.

Our train rolled up and we kept talking. I asked her what brought her to Union Square. She told me she worked for a non-profit and they just had a party for all of their donors. And then we talked about nothing for a while. The movie I just saw, the density of the 1 line, why Times Square is just the worst.

Her stop was before mine. She thanked me for the conversation and left. I never do this, but as the train doors were closing, I jumped out and ran after her. I didn’t know what I wanted to say.

She was running to catch a train, and even with the way my feet are, I knew I could catch up. I didn’t even know what I was going to say. Maybe just, “I liked talking to you. What’s your name? I want to talk to you again.” That isn’t much, but it is how I felt and I would accept whatever reaction I got.

But then I stopped. Just for a moment. I wondered how long I could follow her before romantic became creepy. I decided to just go for it because I knew I would not be any worse off by taking this risk. But by the time I made the decision, I couldn’t see her anymore. She was lost in the crowd and nothing I could do would change that.

I got back inside the Subway and there was a busker on the platform, a person playing an acoustic instrument. I listened for a while. My train rolled up and I boarded it. It may sound strange, and maybe a little obsessive, but it felt lonelier.  

Anyway, here are more stories like that one.