The People I saw
A few years ago I traveled to the east coast with a friend. He was visiting his brother in Connecticut and asked if I’d like to go.
Having never been to the east coast I jumped at the opportunity.
We drove through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before settling in on Boston. We spent the day exploring the city and ended our journey at the TD Gardens, home of the Boston Celtics.
We waited in the train station for my friend’s brother to join us. Unlike my friend who was growing bored by the minute I was experiencing the best part of the trip.
Similar to a previous post where I shared my study of people while shopping at Cost-Co, I began studying people at the Boston train station.
I have a feeling you’re seeing a pattern.
Little old man, the loving couple and the nervous gent
The Boston train station held the largest variety of people I ever saw. You name it I probably saw it and I have to admit, when my friend’s brother arrived and it was time to go to the game I was kind of disappointed.
I remember seeing a friendly old man with a long grey beard and a walking stick that looked homemade. He was talking to a college boy and it was easy to see the conversation was one sided.
The boy would smile and exchange a quick reply but clearly he was bored.
A few feet away I noticed a middle aged man clutching a briefcase and checking his watch every few minutes. He kept his focus to the floor while rubbing his chin with his free hand. It was obvious he was in deep thought.
Where was he going, I wondered? Was he going home or was he meeting someone? Did his day end in disaster or was he relieved it went so well?
Not far from the middle aged man I spied a young couple. They were holding hands and whispering secrets. They were oblivious to the people around them. All that seemed to matter was their promising future. Who could blame them, I remember thinking.
Pizza and the Pizza Man
Voices echoed off the walls and mixed with the sounds of the arriving trains. It was easy to get lost in the moment and convince myself that I had taken a step back in time.
The colors could have easily faded, replaced by black and white. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall could have appeared and it all would have seemed right.
I took a walk as the trains were idling. Most of the people were on their phones but a surprising handful were reading newspapers.
I came across a little stand that was selling pizza by the slice. I quickly noticed it was the busiest place in the station and I could see why.
Grab a slice on your ride home! Just enough to fill your belly after a long day.
I ordered a pepperoni and waited as a tall man with long grey curly hair ordered the same. He was dressed like a professor and I had a feeling I was right. I also noticed he ordered two pizzas instead of one.
We got our orders at the same time and as he turned to walk away I decided to follow.
He grabbed a paper off a rack that said free. Curious, I did the same. I had a feeling he had a selective taste. Not only in pizza but in culture. As I sat on his side of the bench, a mere inches away, I glanced at the paper in hand. My hunch was correct.
A jazz lover.
We ate our pizzas and studied our papers. His view never leaving the corner of my eye. I decided to mix it up a bit and ask for directions for a show that was playing that week.
He gave it to me the way one would had they visited the place a hundred times. I nodded as if I understood. Not once did he look in my direction.
I turned the page of the paper and mentioned a bands name. I followed by exclaiming they were overrated. This caused a quick glare. Good, I was getting a reaction.
Suddenly the whistle blew followed by the passengers rushing to their trains. The long hair man stood and lowered his untouched pizza towards me.
“You or the garbage.”
When I took it he bent down to my level. It was an odd moment to say the least.
“Welcome to Boston.” He smiled.
Did he know what I was doing or was he just being friendly? Or were we both playing the same game?
I never had time to ask as he turned and disappeared into the crowd.
Happy Friday, everyone!