This afternoon, someone spit out a bubblegum bubble at the top of the escalator leading to the train platform. It was partially on purpose. It wasn’t a child’s bubble; it was an adult’s bubble. It belonged to a man who had just found out that his wife had just found out that she is — that they are — pregnant. He was on a business trip to Chicago; his meeting ended early and he was hoping he’d make it to the airport in time to get on an earlier flight. He was excited to get home to his wife. They are so in love.
His phone rang right as he went through the turnstile. He was in the midst of blowing a gigantic bubble with the bubblegum he’d purchased at the airport newsstand that morning. He loved it. He was alone now and didn’t care about appearances.
His wife wasn’t actually on the phone. It was an accidental call. “Hellooooo,” he wanted to scream to her. Normally, she heard, laughed, said “Hello, goodbye,” and hung up. “Lock it up,” he would say. He thought he was funny.
Today, he couldn’t say anything because of the bubble. He was about to pop it. He kind of wanted to take a picture.
He heard his wife’s voice in the background. He wondered if the cat had stepped on her phone and called him. He imagined a gross cat making phone calls, wondered why they had a cat and why his wife was talking to herself. He was about to pop the bubble, but he heard something that made him spit it out instead.
He wasn’t the kind of boy who would choke on his milk when something hilarious happened; he was the kind to spit it out as if his lips were the opening of a fountain.
I stepped over the beautiful bubble two-and-a-half hours later.