December 31st, 5pm, I get on a subway in New York, I look for a seat, and I see an old guy sitting in the back. At first he’s looking out the window, but as I walk down the aisle he slowly turns his head and looks at me. I sit down and awkwardly have a conversation.
“Where are you headed?” I whisper, leaning over towards the guy.
“I can’t tell you, it’s personal…” he says with an attitude.
“Okay, then what’s your name, sir?” I say with a worried look on my face.
“My names Tooth… I mean Truth… Truth Larry. Yeah that’s it! But you can just call me Larry.”
“Well Larry…my name is Sarah and I’m headed to Times Square to see the ball drop, where do you live, Larry? Not to be nosey…” I say as he starts to interrupt.
“No Sarah, you’re fine… I live here on the subway. I’m a hobo”
“Oh? You don’t look like a hobo though. How do you afford to stay on the subway or food?” I say with a confused look on my face.
He leans over and whispers in my ear, “Do you want to know a secret? I nod my head, and he pulls a potato sack from underneath his seat.
“If I tell you, I get something in return…” he says looking at me in despair.
“Well you have to tell me what this something is first, because it might be very important to me,” I say without thinking of what else to say.
“What if I told you, it helps me pay for everything? I look at him, then the floor, wondering what this man wants from me.
Does he want drugs, my clothes, maybe sex, I don’t know…
I sit there in silence just thinking for a few minutes, then suddenly I answer.
“I’ll risk my chances, tell me your secret and take whatever you want from me.” We shake hands and he then leans over and whispers in my ear again.
“I’m the Tooth Fairy…” he says.
I ponder for a moment, then I realize what he wants. I look over and he’s got a pair of pliers, I gasp.
The train stops
“Times Square” the intercom says faint as people scurry out the train doors, as I lay there holding my mouth with my sleeve, trying to stop the blood from gushing out. I look up with no energy to stand up, all the seats empty. Even the hobo magically disappeared.