Notes from the Train: New Rochelle to Grand Central Terminal

New Rochelle train station:

Sitting next to a girl with leggings and two bags that look like they were made out of carpet. Her hair is wet, though it’s so cold, I cannot write without gloves on. She keeps the phone in her hand, texting. Always texting. Then a man walks by with sunglasses, a black backpack and sneakers with the tonge rolled down. He keeps saying,. Really? Really? Hello? Can you hear me? Next to him a young woman, tight blue jeans, tennis shoes with the tongue also rolled down, hair long, in streaks of blonde and black, popping bubble gum, carrying a black trash bag that crinkles as she shuffles from one foot to the next.

The “hello, can you hear me?” man breaks into a smile., throws his head back and laughs.

On train now:

Most people on their phones. There’s an advertisement for Calr F. Bucherer watch. A model in front of an ocean-view window saying She’s not afraid of getting older–but who would be if they could afford that watch? And an ocean front view.

The train rocks, while a woman talks about Baltimore. The other advertisement shows a business man pulling a carry-on on an icy New England road. Cold? it asks. The PGA tour is going to Meixco–and below, men in pastel polos swing a golf club next to white sands and palm trees on a resort course.

No one on this train looks like they would want to go swing clubs in Mexico.

Two young men in thick Bronx accents talk about how so and so needs to get a fuckin’ job. One looks very beautiful but he just got off. Fordham station is next.

A little girl about five climbs over her father and plays over the seats, then she leaps into the window side, palms flat on the window, signs a deep sigh and swings back over to her father, wraps her arms around his neck.

Her father wears square framed glasses, half balding, expressive eyebrows, a kind, always-almost-smiling mouth.

I keep thinking I’ll run into someone. That perhaps I’ll find a spark. My mind doesn’t work. My heart hasn’t said anything.

The always-half-smiling man is still half smiling, just this site makes my day better. Just seeing him, his bouncy daughter and there’s a little boy as well.

There’s a train passing by us, for once, all of our lives are parallel, actually parallel.

We get to glimpse into the windows of each other’s trains, not even knowing who is who. If someone cried, we wouldn’t know.

I like this half smiling man. He’s made my day and he will never know it. I wonder if I’ve ever been that stranger for someone else.

 

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