I recently returned from ɑ trip to the coast. On the way home I caught the MAX downtown, and a homeless woman sat by my side. After only a few moments, she began staring at me with a wide and curiously warm smile. Still, I don’t like being stared at, so I ignored her. But, when it was almost time to get off in Hollywood, I needed her to move...

"Pardon me-" I said politely.

She just kept staring and smiling, and asked, "Pardon me?"

"This is my stop-" I continued. And as she continued to marvel, I began again, "I'm getting off at the next stop."

"You're getting off at the next stop?"

"Yes. Excuse me."

She just kept staring and smiling, and instead of standing up, turned her body to the side so I could squeeze by.

We hadn't quite reached my station, so I moved toward the door, and stood behind a crowd of people. The homeless woman remained seated, staring.

Then, gaze unbroken, she reached through the crowd, grabbing my shoulder.

It wasn't a vicious grab, or even a sensual one. It was more like a child, reaching out to touch something pretty.

Without saying a word, I shook my head discouragingly from side to side, and the woman retracted her hand.

She just kept staring and smiling. And without blinking, she reached out again, and again grabbed my shoulder.

I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing.

The train stopped, the doors opened, and the woman let go.

I stepped off the train, and that was that.