A young man
"I am here" I wrote.
"I am almost there" he wrote.
I was still listening to my music, was it disrespectful to listen to music while you waited for someone? Would it be a bit too nonchalant? I was not sure how it would look, so I put away my Ipod. I was at the top of the stairs. Perhaps I should be downstairs? How would it look, me waiting for him to climb all the way up to meet me? I was not sure how it would look, so I went down. He was already there.
"Hi!" I said
I was not sure what to do...should I hug him or should I shake his hand? So I did nothing. I put my hands in my pockets and just smiled. He hugged me.
"Here you are" he said
"Yes, here I am".
The old man
The young man had left. I waved at him until I could not see the train anymore. I was in some kind of trance. Perhaps it was all that waving...everything seemed so hazy...or was it the sun?
"Is this the train you take to XXX?"
"Sorry?" Somehow, I had missed the entrance of the person speaking. I turned to look at him. He was very old and one of his fingers was bleeding...
"Is this the train you take to XXX?"
"Yes...are you okay?"
"I got lost" he said "At my age, you often get a bit confused...then I fell down the stairs...but I only hurt my hand...not my head" he smiled at me.
"Poor you!" I patted his back...."Poor you!"
I watched him try to wrap the cut finger in some toilet paper. To my amazement, he had wrapped the wrong finger! The cut finger was bleeding right beside the good finger he had wrapped...
"You know, I lost my way...but I always say, the world is round so sooner or later, I will always get back to where I am coming from"
"You wrapped the wrong finger"
He unwrapped the wrong finger and now wrapped another healthy finger on the other side of the cut finger...the cut finger was still bleeding...
"When you have celebrated being 50 twice, these things get confusing thats why I lost my way"
"Can I help you with that?"
"Yes please, you are kind"
I took off the toilet paper from the wrong finger and wrapped the cut finger...
"Now you have to hold it...like so...good"
"How old are you?"
"92...you know the best age is from 30 to 35...then you fit right in society...at my age, I don't fit in anymore"
"I guess I fit right in then! I will be 32 soon! Where are you going to?"
"XXX...I live at the old people's home there...I haven't been around this area for so many years...that's why I got lost...you know, when you get to be 50, you keep looking forward to being a pensioner...but it not like you thought it would be...my wife is gone, all my friends...now, time has no meaning for me...is my finger bleeding a lot?"
"Well, there is some blood"
"Is it red?"
"At least its not blue"
We both laughed...
My train passed by...
"Oh shit! That was my train! ah! never mind..."
"Oh...its all my fault..."
"No, no, don't worry about it...the next one is in 6 minutes...I don't have anything to do anyway...better to make sure you get on the right train...and remember, you have to take it all the way to the end"
"All the way..."
"Yes, all the way to the very end...then you get off"
"You missed your train"
"Thats okay...never mind that"
"But this is what always happens...you try to be good to someone and then...always you miss out on something"
"Ah! that's life!"
"Do you like it here? in this country?"
"You know, if you really get in the society, the people here are very kind...at least 90% of them...but then, there is that ten percent of people that are not...but they don't count anyway, so never mind them"
"No, evil people don't count"
His train arrived.
He got up and stood straight like a soldier in the army. He put out his hand..
"Thank you very much. You have been very kind. I wish more people were like you"
I gave him a hug.
"Take the train all the way"
"All the way"
As the doors closed behind him, He stood there, waving...standing so tall and straight...
I waved back...I would never see him again. His time was too short to even hope or dream that we would ever meet again...
So I waved until I could see him no more...
I did not cry.