Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Secret Knitter

I wrote this about a year and a half ago and just found it lurking on my computer so I thought I'd share it. This is not about a specific moment. This always happens to me.


The Secret knitter

The subway is jolting back and forth, tossing the people it contains from side to side. A woman sits in one of the worn seats, bag held tight between her feet. Yarn trails out of the top of her bag to connect with the baby blue sweater she is knitting. It's obviously something she's worked hard on and she seems to be almost done with a front or a back, I can't tell which. I'm watching her. I don't think she realizes this because she is probably used to people watching her knit on the subway. It's fascinating to watch. She's very fast and the needles fly pulling loop through loop through loop with such ferocity. I want to tell her. I just don't know how. I want to let her know that I'm not staring because she's an oddity to see. No, I'm staring because I understand. I comprehend how it feels to turn a ball of yarn into something beautiful. Something that turns heads on the subway. I'm ashamed of myself for not bringing any project of my own. I imagine what it would have been like. We both would have sat knitting away until we paused for a break and looked up and saw a fellow knitter. We would smile knowingly, like we had a secret that no one else in that compartment shared. But she doesn't know.
"I knit too." I whisper, but she doesn't hear me.