I was walking down the brick street, focusing on my step because you never know when a puddle will turn out to be a pool and swallow you whole. I was going against the city people traffic; the less popular commuter direction for a Friday evening. As I approached the station, I looked up to identify the entrance and we made eye contact for a second too long. Your eyes had all the energy of a recent prison escapee. But your posture said that you were out on good behavior - a limited time adventure from your life as a robot husband and father to 2.5 children in some suburban New England town that probably has “water” or “ford” in its name. Your gelled hair and freshly trimmed side burns suggested an attention to detail that can only come from consistent boredom and fleeting hope. Your jeans said that your wife did most of your shopping for you as if she thought the right denim might make you less yourself. Your fleece jacket said that 311 was probably the most recently played artist in your iTunes library. And your casual limp told me you had a bad knee that you claimed was an old baseball injury but really it’s just joint pain from being out of shape and over 30. You stared at me too. I had enough time to figure out your whole life and wonder what you were thinking about me. You held the door almost like a gentleman, but your bros were watching so you did that thing that tall dudes do where they hold the door open and force people to walk under their arm like it’s a toll.
As I walked under your shorter than average arm toll it seemed like you were expecting something from me so I gave you a closed mouth, flat line smile. I felt you consider your options and abandon whatever your first thought was. I looked into the pilled armpit of your jacket as you said, “Go Sox!” It felt more like a threat than a rally cry. “Sure,” I said.