Was that you on the subway this morning? I was standing on the platform and when the train rolled in, I thought I saw you near the front. I boarded and began to walk up the train to see if it was you. I envisioned myself acting mischievously casual, sitting down beside you and saying, « Good morning, sir, » as though I see you all the time, as though I was simply a friendly stranger, as though it hasn’t been years upon years, too long. It would have been a nice moment!
I began to walk up the train, to see if it was you, but then saw an empty bank of three seats, a truly rare find on the morning commute. I sat down. I scrambled with my telephone to send you a text before we went back underground and had no signal. « Are you on the subway? » I sent this in time. No response. Back underground, no signal. I picked up my book and read comfortably sprawled in my bank of three seats
The government is proposing policy that will infringe upon our privacy rights. The city is paving over the park to build another mall. The university is raising tuition. We sign an online petition and go on with our day, feeling good about having done our part.
I lament that I do not feel aligned with the society into which I have been born. I don’t walk the length of a subway train to say hello to an old friend, gambling on the chance they it probably wasn’t him.
The online petition failed, the years continue to accumulate, all is as it has been.