Dear Diary:

A friend and I were on a Queens-bound E train when, although she lives 3,000 miles away, my grandmother got on at 14th Street. After a double take, I realized it was not my grandmother, just an older Filipino woman with my grandmother’s exact hairstyle and small stature. She was carrying several shopping bags.

A mix of decorum and homesickness seizing me, I leapt up, motioning for her to take my seat.

“No, no,” she responded, shaking her head and clutching a pole with her free hand. “I’m fine.”

“Please,” I said. “You have bags.”

Again, a terse “no.”

I sat back down and stared at my feet, feeling awkward….


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