My left foot is naked.
I’m riding the F train at 6:30 pm and unlike the morning, these post-work passengers are in no rush. They’re letting out the cramps from their strained necks and pumping music in their ears to forgot about the haunting memories of trying to conquer their day’s to-do-list.
But here I am, trying to free my toes from a pair of leopard flats and stuff them into a pair of heels. Once my feet are covered, I take a hand to my head to tame the split end frizz and another to paint on a bright hue over a weekend’s worth of chapped lips.
A lady across from me, holding onto a cluster of packages, watches me watch myself in a dusty compact mirror.
The train comes to a halt and as I go to step onto the platform and navigate my way to Houston street for what feels like another big meeting of a little career I won’t let end, she looks at me and says:
Honey, before her eyes do a quick backflip, you don’t need any of that. You’re beautiful.
It’s impressive how much our mood can change from the kindness of a few spoken words – even in New York City – even from a complete stranger.