THE BLOG

Strangers on a Train

10/01/2013 11:37 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

This actually happened. I hardly ever believe people when they begin a tale with a line like that, but at the risk of losing your attention right off the bat, I'll dare to repeat myself:

This actually happened.

I'm riding an uptown subway train with my wife on Saturday afternoon when suddenly, the door at the north end of the car is pushed open and a blind man enters, cane and cup in hand.

Two things are immediately obvious -- one, this guy is working the train from front to back, and two, he's no faker.

His eyelids appear to be sealed shut over hollows where his eyes once were. He moves slowly, tapping the territory before him with that long, skinny cane.

People are good. They drop coins and paper money into his cup. I take out a buck to be ready when he reaches us.

That's when it happens.

The door at the south end of the car is pushed open and another blind man enters, tapping an identical cane.

Two more things become immediately obvious -- one, this guy is working the train from back to front, and two, these blind men are on a collision course.

"Oh my God," somebody murmurs.

Somebody else gestures at the second blind man and whispers, "He could be a faker."

It's an interesting point. The second blind man's eyes are tightly shut, but it's clear that he's still got his eyes. Unlikely he'd be faking, though. It's a tough act to sustain.

The main thing is that unless somebody does something to stop it from happening, two blind men are going to bump into each other in the middle of the subway car.

But what can you say? "Hold on, buddy, there's another blind guy coming right at you?" Doesn't work.

It's sad, crazy and ridiculous at the same time, like something Larry David would come up with for a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode.

Larry David's character would have done something to make matters worse, but we all just sit there and watch, as if it's something we can't control, like the weather.

And at a deeper, darker level lurks this terrible truth: we have to see how it's going to play out.

Step by step, the blind men tap their way toward each other. When they reach the middle of the car their canes collide, like a swordfight at ankle level.

And they instantly know what's happening, as if such a thing has happened before.

"Sorry, man," says the first blind man.

"That's okay," says the second.

That's it. It's over. We give money to both of them. They both get off at the next stop, and I'm not the only person on that train who lets out a long, jagged sigh of relief.

My wife and I get off a few stops later, at 72nd Street. We climb the stairs into an absolute diamond of a day.

"Look at that amazing sky!" my wife says. She's right. It couldn't have been any bluer, couldn't have been more beautiful. I know two guys who wish they could see it.

Charlie Carillo is a producer for the TV show "Inside Edition." His novels "Shepherd Avenue," "My Ride With Gus," "Found Money," "God Plays Favorites" and "The Man Who Killed Santa Claus: A Love Story" are available on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents.