Train Car

Crowded or not that doesn’t matter.
A bunch of us together in one spot, straining to the best of our ability
To not notice the other in front of you
On the side
Or to the left.
To ignore a fellow man’s personality, his very life but at the same time,
You take in everything, the way a nose is scratched or the way the eye blinks or the way the shoes are worn. Tied or untied leads to biased or unbiased judgment, wingtip or square-toed will get the same. High top sneakers and jeans, a snug fit on the right woman may lead to a longer stare.
But a judgment just the same.
Yeah we take in everything about the person next to us except the eyes, those we look away from whenever they deign to meet. Most times at all costs.
In the space of a stare we live the life of that person, and
They know it.
Would a connection be all that bad?
The stare returned is an invitation, sometimes a challenge to live their lives in tandem.
Is that selfish? I’ve lived the life of a musician, sweaty from banging on those drums, the hunger to play good music and make a good living out of it. If you don’t like it go to hell. He looked to me but I looked away. Can’t help you, guy. No change.
I’ve went four stops living the life of a businessman, an expensive suit to go with expensive shoes. Nice salary and a busy cellular phone, the perfect device to ignore the world. When he got off he left me with my dead-end job of uncertainty strained with the weight of the responsibility of a mouth to feed. I tasted bitterness as the doors closed behind him.
Once I went a whole ride married to a nice-looking woman. We had four kids and lived together off and on before she met my eyes and invited me to do it for real. I slunk off that train a coward.
All the lives we live on these rides we’re made to put back.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Those eyes hold the permission to live it.
Don’t look away.

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