August 16, 2009

People in Transit

We spoke for four hours. We didn’t even exchange names for the first two. We talked about movies we had seen and books we had read, science fiction, Civil War reenactment, fencing, SCA fighting, horses, dogs, cats, tigers, lions, and bears. We discussed high school, college, our families, places we had lived, our ancestry, languages we studied, and people we had known.

We had missed the train, arriving simultaneously seven minutes too late, with the doors closed and the gate abandoned. The next train wouldn’t be for three hours. We walked through Union Station, got food at the little corner bakery. I had a wonderful sandwich and orange juice. I gave him my chips. He had a root beer and a chocolate bunt cake. Over food we exchanged names. When the train came, we sat together in the front row and talked for another hour. He turned in his seat to face me directly, leaning his shoulder against the back. Then suddenly, this was his stop. He almost realized it too late and we exchanged hurried goodbye’s and good luck’s.

It is a wonderful thing, the transitory nature of human relations. We never exchanged last names or phone numbers or emails. I think that is for the good. We can form these wonderful relationships and let them go again and be the better for it.

So, good luck, Daniel, wherever you are.

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