Alternatives

Who: Cheryl
Age: 52
City: New York, NY
Profession: Health Insurance Representative

Stereotype. Tattoos. Awake.
“Is this seat taken?” A female voice asks as she stands over him motioning to the empty seat. “No, go right ahead,” he says and even moves a notch over to indicate how much this particular seat was meant for her. She does. A long sigh. He can’t tell if it’s for me him or what seems like the first moment to herself for the day.

“That’s a great shirt.” She says after a moment. “Thank you. It’s been with me for years. My dad tells me I use to sleep in it as a teen.” Her eyes wake, “Really? Wow. Well, it looks good.” He nods his head, “Thank you.” “Did you just get off work? She extends. “No, I’m going to yoga.” Her eyes widen again, “Really? Wow.” He doesn’t seem the type to go to yoga. He knows she thinking this, and yet, it’s all good.

She smiles to herself and then chooses to move forward, “May I ask what you do that you can take a yoga class in the late afternoon?” “I’m an actor,” he replies. “Really? Wow.” She says. Again, he doesn’t look the type to be an actor, let alone a working actor. After a beat, “What about you?” He asks her. “I work for a health insurance company.” Oh, he thinks. She looks at him as if picking up what he must be thinking. “Yup, I persuade people to take medication instead of seeking alternative medicine. I’m the bad guy.” For a blink, it feels like a confession to a priest or revealing to a long, lost friend some truth behind a closed door in her life. He senses this and so drops any argumentative return he may have had. He turns to her, “Wow. Do you believe this to be true?” She doesn’t look at him. After a sigh, “I’m sure it works. But. It’s about making my numbers at the end of the month.”
A beat.

He doesn’t know what to say. “I don’t know what to say,” he shares with her. “Yeah, me too.” She says.