At Jewell Station a man gets on the train and stands in the doorway, looking out. A girl on the platform laughs saying “you’re holding the train” and smiling he steps back.
She lingers until the door shuts as if making sure he will stay put then she waves and walks away as our train heads the opposite direction. She is barefoot and happy and her short bob is a deliberate mess.
I watch the back of the man as he moves to a seat, and so does a guy nearby with a bike and a ponytail. He shakes his head.
I wonder why because all I want to know is if they are in love, if they’ve just spent the night and the day together, if each are giddy and sick from the other.
Yesterday I went to a café near the church I work at with a friend I know from there. Outside was a guy in a collared shirt and vest and a suit jacket wearing these really long and high buckled boots that you see and you think you know something about the person wearing them. Something like they might have friends who cross-dress and have baby pink hair or they probably only listen to Nine Inch Nails or you’d think they hate their dad but that seems too obvious.
As I sat in the café drinking a banana smoothie my friend who is around 70 asked if I thought the guy out the front was an orthodox Jew. From where he was sitting he could only see the guy’s top half as he unfolded himself from his chair and put on a wide brimmed hat and an overcoat, despite it being 20 degrees out. I said I didn’t think so and then I saw his hat and said “well I guess he could be”.
The guy and his friend came into the café. He took off his hat and said “thank you very much, I hope you have a great day” and nodded at the woman behind the counter and then put his hat back on and left again. She came around to clean some tables and she was smiling and I thought there you go-that’s how easy it is.
“I was waiting for a friend the other night and reading a George Orwell essay about socialism and England”