Friday, July 08, 2011

When angels go clackity-clack

The young women across from me on the train cried into her mobile phone. I didn’t know the reason, her language being far different from mine. With nowhere to hide her emotion, she peered into the dark window, night just beyond the glass, and used her own reflection to wipe the mascara from beneath her eyes.
TrainImage by MichelKuik via Flickr

She reminded me of someone that I once knew briefly, but intimately. I couldn’t recall her name, only her face; enough that I was drawn to her despite the language, culture, and age differences between us.

When I could see that her call had ended, I asked, “Are you okay?”

She looked at me quizzically, translating my words into her own language, then answered, “Yes, yes,” shrugging off the question from a stranger, as we are all prone to do.

“I don’t have your answer, don’t even need to know about your struggle, sometimes just being asked if you’re okay is all you need,” I added.

Her guard receded and she admitted, “Yes, you’re right.”

I bowed my head to her as a sign that I had nothing more to say. As I returned to my book a thought occurred to me: often in my life an angel has appeared, ever so briefly, when I’m struggling. However, times had been much worse than this; I didn’t feel the need for relief or attention. I simply needed time to think about the course of my life over the past month.
And then it hit me: I’m her angel. Yes. Exactly. The edges of my mouth curled up secretly and I felt the flood of karmic warmth fill my soul. It felt good; a moment of warmth in what had become my own chilly departure.

Ten minutes later the train stopped and we went our separate ways only to take two different routes to the next train’s platform. As she lit up a cigarette I knew who she reminded me of: someone that once told me she never planned on living very long.
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