Friday, August 13, 2010

familiar faces

when you ride the train at the same time everyday, with the same people, you start to recognize a few. i don't know their real names, per se, but i like to give them my own names. may i introduce you to evelyn?

i just feel like her name would be evelyn. i'm not sure why.

i first noticed her last week when i was waiting for the brown line at the merchandise mart stop. she was walking down the platform wearing this bright green dress and carrying a black backpack. she is an older woman, probably in her late 50s, with glasses and shorter auburn hair. i feel like she might work in a library of some sort. when i saw her i thought to myself, "wow, that dress is great. she looks happy and hip for an older woman. good for her." this scene brought a smile to my face. then the train came and i forgot about her.

this past wednesday morning i was lucky enough to get a seat on the train. i was so engrossed in my book that i didn't even realize evelyn was sitting across from me until i was half-way to work. on that particular day she was reading a book and wearing this:

i couldn't help but smile. if you know me, you know i love bikes. i saw this dress at anthropologie a few weeks ago, but of course i couldn't afford it. it's terribly cute, right? i bet you evelyn has an old bike that she rides. one with a basket in the back to carry her groceries.

she intrigues me. i want to know more about her. i noticed she doesn't wear a wedding ring. for some reason when i realized this i felt a pang of sadness for her, even though she doesn't look like a sad person. now, i know marriage isn't for everyone. and my single self is just fine with my singleness, but at the same time it made me wonder about her.

who knows if she's a widower or she couldn't get married because she had to take care of an ill family member. or maybe she was just too shy to tell the man she loved how she really felt. again, who knows.

these are the thoughts i have about various people when i'm riding the train. we all sit or stand on this crowded train, not saying a word, most of us preoccupied by a book or newspaper or electronic device. every now and then i wonder what kinds of stories the person next to me can tell. stories of heartache and pain. stories of joy and laughter.

maybe one day i'll know evelyn's real story, but until then i'll keep a look out for her and try to put the pieces together myself.

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