For the last few months, I’ve been riding a train to and from work. During that time, I’ve discovered there are regular riders I see most everyday. The regulars I see depends on where I sit on the train. Of late, I’ve taken to sitting in the second to last car from the engine on the way into The Big City, and on the first car after the engine on the way home. Before I just sat wherever I could find a seat, and that gave me a sampling of different people.
They’ve formed a real cast of characters, and there’s a story in each one of them, I’m sure. I’ve given them all little nicknames and call them by those when I see them. Some of them get on where I do, some at subsequent stops along the route. I see very few of them after disembarking from the train, though. One of them works for the same company I do, in the building across the street from mine, so I see her from time to time in the morning, but never in the afternoon. I saw one person consistently, but she’s not on the walk with me anymore.
The cast of characters is interesting, and they offer a bizarre sense of familiarity in a faceless town of asphalt, concrete, steel and potholes. The choked traffic outside the train station gives way to the calmer bustle farther down the street, though by any measure it’s still crowded and hectic. In that sea of humanity and cars the recognition of someone I’ve seen before is a strange feeling. It seems like I should look around and never recognize anyone, and yet, there they are, the original characters of the saga of my workaday life. Weird.
Remind me to tell you about them all sometime. They’re kinda cool.