Talking to Strangers

jeremy_norton_illustration___strange_girl_by_jeremynorton-d7yokifIt was a windy Friday morning. I was on the train platform with my oversized bag of rolling purple luggage.

There was someone staring at me. She looked no older than 18. She wore glasses and was quite thin. It looked like she wanted to say something to me. I didn’t move an inch.

“Going somewhere?”

She had a whimsical voice. I looked up at her. She looked alone. Like she needed someone to talk to.

“I’m going to Cape Cod.”

“I’ve never been there”

“Either have I”

Awkward silence

“I’m sorry I really didn’t mean to start conversation.”

“That’s okay. I’m friendly, I don’t mind.”

We sat together on the train. She told me about her internship and her college studies, her family, her boyfriend. I talked a bit. She talked more and kept apologizing about talking so much.

At one point she pulled out a stick of deodarant and swiped some under her arms. She was a little eccentric and a few years older than I thought she was. She told me how people are usually very mean to her and that I was nice. At one point she almost had me tearing up.

So when she asked me for my phone number, I thought it was a little personal but it might be okay. I gave it to her along with my last name. She claimed to know my sister. I thought they may have been high school friends and deemed her as “safe.”

She usually took the subway to work but since I walk, she decided to walk with me. We got on the escalator. I tried to maneuver my footing with my rolling luggage and was a little disoriented. She held out her hand to me and said, “it’s okay, I got you.” I thought this was nice but a little much. Like something I would have done a decade earlier. I said no thanks.

We got to my block, I gave her a hug. I got to my office and noticed I had a white deodorant stain on my black cardigan. I had a text from her saying she got to work safe. And every day after that I received texts from her wishing me a good time in Cape Cod. And I also had Facebook notifications for posts of a comic we had chatted about. Then I had Facebook messages along with more text messages asking what time my train would be the next day.

I only answered her once.

 

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4 thoughts on “Talking to Strangers

  1. It’s fun to strike up a conversation with some stranger while travelling. But we are always coy to share our personal details with the strangers, so such talks are just a passing fancy that end up with our travelling.

    • It’s more like two ships passing in the night flashing a friendly light to say hello, it’s not necessarily an opportunity to form a lifelong bond!

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