Riding the Train

(So I started my TEFL class. More on that in another post.)

I stood up on the T today – it’s easier, really, to stand. I feel too small, too vulnerable, when I sit. Today I stood and held on to the rail, swaying a little with each stop.

I looked around and thought how strange it is to be in such close proximity with people I don’t know, people I will never actually meet. I will never meet them, but I could reach right out and touch them.

At the third stop, people poured in.

A man came and stood next to me, reached up and held onto the same railing.

His fingers grazed mine.

I never saw his face.

This isn’t the train I rode, but I kinda wish it were.

Cities and trains, subways and busy sidewalks. I don’t really understand that there is humanity all around me. Each person is as important as the other, but I will never know the stories.

I heard two people meeting for the first time; the girl had a cello on her back, and the middle-aged man claimed that he “used to be a professional cellist.” Before the next stop, the girl had invited him to a concert (“Are you free at 8:15 tonight?”), and it left me wondering if that’s how big stories start:

With a question that you almost didn’t ask.

. . .

I wonder if I’m the only one who’s watching. Maybe I’m the only one who wonders why the woman with shoulder-length gray hair, thick white nylons, and a knee-length purple skirt still takes the train. Still commutes in and out of the city. Still looks exhausted in the crusty blue train seats.

When I look at her, she turns and looks out the window, and I wonder who she’s going home to.

Too many thoughts for a train ride.

That’s the thing about the train: I come home quieter and more contemplative than when I left. I guess I lose my bubbly, excited self in the city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.