the guy in the seat beside


So many ways
To shut yourself away
When traveling with strangers
on a subway train .
 
You Stay away
From the strangers unknown
But acknowledge
The familiar people and things,
Taking your electronics,
From the pocket of jeans.

No interruption,
Until the guy who sits beside.
You believe he’s sketchy
Hell, you know that something about him just isn’t right.
From the wear and tear in clothing
To the sudden scent
Telling everyone that hygiene is his rarity.

You know you cannot dismiss him:
There’s a twinkle in his eye,
A child-like twinkle
In his gray, gray eye.

He gives off a vibe
Of Santa Claus.
He’s a lonely man
In a cycle of bad luck:
Stuck in a child-like wonderland.

Noticing that you’re listening
The words pour out
Like the moment when Beckett’s Lucky
Begins to speak:
Asking questions
No one would ever dream.

This is not conversation
There is no response
He will stop whenever he wants:

No chance
to make a sudden leave.

And so he said these words
Of a curious mind
Unsure how to answer
You nod your head:

• Have you ever
Wished to wait
And not rush
To the place
You’re going to be?
• Have you ever
Wanted to venture
On an all night subway ride?
• Have you ever
Recalled a familiar
Of a distant past
In a photo of a far away
Countryside?
• Have you ever gone exploring
Then suddenly began to realize:
This is the place
You’ve already been?
• Have you ever really wondered
About the people, the places, the things?
• Have you ever stopped to think
Then thought all over again?
• Have you ever really wondered
About the people you’ll one day meet?
• Have you ever left to travel
And then returned
To the place
In which you began?
• Have you ever spent an hour
In the pouring rain?

• I often wonder
If true kindness exists
And sometimes
Comes kindness
Re-assuring belief.
• There’s plenty I think, thought, wondered
But never did speak.

Then old, grey eye
He got up and left.
Waving
From a distance/ his last goodbye,
A goodbye
Increasing in distance
As the train
Moves farther away
Once again:
Parting ways.