It was a usual subway ride: people of all shapes and sizes, colors and creeds, races and religions all united by the need to get around NYC. All crowded on a little smelly train car holding onto the subway poles for dear life. And those who were lucky enough to have a seat had to hold their balance to prevent themselves from falling into the lap of the person next to them.
The subway experience wouldn't be complete without subway entertainment. From someone with a boom box blasting tunes and hanging upside down from the subway poles like a stripper to someone walking through the subway car with a change cup shaking it like a maraca: there was always something to see. The subway entertainment on this particular day was of the usual variety, a young kid selling chips and cookies to make a little extra cash.
He confidently strolled into the middle of the subway car so that everyone could see and hear him as he made his announcement. He was scrawny with long limbs wearing an oversized t-shirt and baggy jeans with matching Nike's and a backwards baseball cap. His face, smooth and youthful with facial hair scattered along his chin with a thin mustache forming right about his lips. Despite his small frame, the voice that came out his mouth was strong and powerful.
"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen! Yea, I'm another one of those annoying kids on the train. Right now your wishing I would shut up but in the future this annoying kid on the train could be a successful entrepreneur, music artist and a success. And you gonna see me on TV and look back and say, I remember that annoying lil kid from the train that was trying to do the right thing. So support me today before I'm famous! 1 for chips, 2 for cookies, 3 to shut me up!"
He made a few people who didn't have their iPhone headphones shoved in their ears crack a smile and proceeded to walk through the car to collect some money. Unfortunately his unique speech and delivery didn't score him any dollars. And unfortunately we will never know his story, where he has been and where he will go.
Instead of walking away in disappointment, he handed out free cookies to some of the children on the train before he disappeared through the subway doors. Their eyes lit up, he made their day, and mine too. He reminded me of my commitment to helping young men like him succeed. And if I had a dollar, he woulda got it.