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
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,
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,
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