Today on the train, I stared at a guy listening to his iPod. I didn’t see any headphones, but he was singing along. I wondered if his headphones were wireless. Maybe he was only pretending to listen.
In any case, he wanted me to see what he was listening to. He was also holding his iPod so that it faced me (and the rest of the L-sardines, too, I guess) instead of him. He was listening to Kate Nash. I love Kate Nash.
I smiled to myself and wondered if this guy could tell I was staring at him, trying to understand who he was and where he was going. He had on black square-framed glasses. He was wearing jeans. I don’t remember what kind of shirt he had on. I looked at his feet. I always look at feet these days. Maybe I’ve always looked at feet, though. Maybe it’s a product of the twelve uniform-wearing years that obviously helped shaped my thoughts on fashion. One thing I remember about our uniforms: we could always express ourselves through our feet.
For example, my Danskos and white ankle socks explained more about me than a fully filled out “Info” section of my Facebook page.
Anyways, this guy was wearing girls’ shoes. He had on a pair of tan flats, the kind with a bow. They were probably a later version of those Banana Republic flats my aunt gave me for my nineteenth birthday. I had to throw away the black ones last year, but I still have those tan ones. I wondered how long this guy had worn his.
We listened to the same music; we have the same taste in footwear. We would probably have a lot to talk about if I were a Sentimental Traveler, the kind of person who makes best friends on airplanes (like my mother). If he had been holding his iPod in another direction, these thoughts never would have crossed my mind.
But, I’m not a Sentimental Traveler.
I walked off the train thinking about this fellow traveler, his self-expression, and what it meant. I wanted it to mean something, to translate into my life somehow. I can be very deep sometimes, and I’m sure his iPod was speaking to me. I never reached a conclusion; my train of thought was cut off by the Bernese Mountain Dog calmly waiting at the edge of the school playground for his owner.
I looked around for my soul-mate. This was obviously Bernie, or Bernie number two perhaps. My heart skipped a beat.
I looked around the playground for him. I only saw fathers. My soul mate most certainly doesn’t already have children. I saw a hot dad, a guy probably in his thirties. That was definitely his older brother, and the dog was Bernie’s offspring. My soul-mate has one from the same litter, but the dog at the edge of the park wasn’t his. It was definitely his brother’s. I’m so glad his brother is a family man. Maybe he’s a stay-at-home dad.
Hopeful for my future, I smiled as I cut through the playground. I stared at a prematurely balding father play football with his two young sons. I decided to dabble with being a Sentimental Traveler; I cheered at the boy when he finally kicked the ball. I laughed and tried to make eye contact with the dad. I was trying to say, “He’s so cute.” My message didn’t carry through correctly; the father responded with a weird hello.
So much for that.