morning commute

by brooke bond

 

In the dark, early

mornings of January,

two surprising friendships-of-sorts began.

 

Brompton Guy and Headphones Girl.

He arrives at the station before me,

and we chat while we wait for the train.

She walks the opposite direction of me,

and our paths cross on the same block

most days.

 

Both started with closed-mouth

smiles of acknowledgement,

nodding to say, “I see you,

up early like me.”

 

With Brompton Guy, a rainy day

kept us both under the shelter.

Proximity prompted polite

conversation about train delays,

fold-up bikes, and commuting details.

Months of that turned into

daily catch-ups on work,

holidays,

family,

and where we lived before,

occasionally riding the train together

to continue the chat,

and always ending with an enthusiastic

“have a good one!”

 

Headphones Girl smiled first,

a real smile,

so I smiled back.

A couple weeks of smiles later,

and she waved,

So I, of course, waved back.

One morning, a stumble

led to a mutual laugh.

Next time I see her, I’ll say hi.

 

I recognize other commuters:

Shelford Guy, who runs to catch his connecting train;

Blonde Girl, who sits in the same seat each day,

and on the day when two new people rode our train,

and sat in our seats,

she looked at me with raised eyebrows.

Newspaper Man, who bikes to the little shop

on Regent Street

for a coffee and a paper.

(I smiled and nodded at him yesterday,

and after a moment of confusion,

he smiled back.)

The Cute Couple, who always hurry somewhere together,

smiling,

him walking his bike

to walk beside her.

 

The familiarity of these strangers,

brought to me because of our shared early mornings,

makes me smile each day.

 

I wonder if they notice me.

 


brooke is on instagram @brooke.bond1007