After a long day in the city, I was more than ready for the train ride home. I would have loved to take a nice nap, however, two things kept me awake. One, I did not want to fall asleep and pass my destination, and two, I was so excited about being on a train that I didn't want to miss a minute of it.
Unfortunately, the fluorescent lights were on throughout the train, so I was not able to look out the window and see anything in the dark night. I didn't sit next to anyone, so it was a fairly quiet trip home. However, the person announcing our stops was getting tired and wasn't really giving fair warning, so I became nervous that I was going to miss my stop. (The train does NOT stop for long. You have one minute to get on or off and then that sucker leaves whether you're in the right place or not.)
He gave a warning call for my station, so I made my way downstairs to the doors. It turns out he gave advance warning on ours, because there was a huge group of us waiting downstairs for a good 5-10 minutes before we arrived at the depot. There was a pretty woman waiting next to me, with black hair and several piercings. She was very laid back, and had an easy smile. She didn't shy away from eye contact and it felt like we had several conversations without speaking a word. I would bet my right arm that she was queer.
There was this awful elderly woman next to us who complained about everything. "This is unsanitary. We're waiting too long. Public transportation is filled with germs." And I'm pretty sure we all wanted to say "So why are you on it, then?" but we politely refrained from saying anything. The girl and I did share a look, a smile, a stifled laugh.
It was a connection. Just another nameless connection with another girl who I will probably never see again. Her smile bloomed across her face effortlessly, and she winked at me as we disembarked. I smiled in return. There was a jostling of the crowd, and I lost her in the darkness as we both made our way home in the night.
I smiled even as I thought of my empty bed. Even though I have no one to sleep next to, I have the ability to take five minutes and make a connection with a stranger. In one moment, I had a shared thought, an unspoken conversation with a human being who did not exist to me before that moment. That seems like a good reason to smile.