Tuesday 1 April 2014

A Stranger on the Train.....

The other day I was returning home from work on the train, it had been a particularly fraught and long day and therefore my frame of mind was similarly clouded. There were a number of other passengers already in the carriage when I entered, sitting in the rather shabby green striped seats, some chatting with their fellow travelling companions, others reading books or newspapers, most just gazing out of the windows, minding their own business. I selected a free seat, without much aforethought and as the train pulled I away I looked forward to the conclusion of the journey when I’d arrive at the small apartment I call home. Although if the truth be known, I was more looking forward to a large glass of red that would be the first thing I’d attend to upon entering.

I like some of my fellow commuters without companions or other diversions of the various forms of written words, gazed out of the window and the scenery rushing passed at an unknown speed. However my absentminded mental meanderings where drawn back from the world outside the carriage to two young gentlemen sitting facing each other across the aisle from my position.  There were tossing banter between themselves, whilst they weren’t unduly loud, due to the close proximity of the seating in the carriage, I couldn’t help but overhear their exchanges.  They were jolly as their word play went back and forth like a ball between rackets in a game of tennis and whilst perhaps they were not always the most verbally dextrous utterances, all seemed to contain an element of humour and jollity. It amused me and whilst I tried not to listen, I couldn’t help myself, occasionally smiling along with a particularly funny remark or verbal volley.  Of course, my interest was also held by the fact that these two gentlemen, of early twenties estimated age were rather easy on the eye,  furthermore,  one was captivatingly pretty and yes, I do mean pretty. His face, pure and unblemished, his dark hair cut short in a modern, yet timeless style, his eyes shining brightly and reasonably well sized red lips rendered his face an almost jaw dropping beauty. Repeatedly during the slightly camp oral bat and ball game, he referred to himself by name, Michael Wilson, a name that entered my conscious mind and has since never left, a name that has sounded itself during dreams and more wakeful moments. My mood was lifted beyond any expectation or probability and thus as the train arrived at my station I really should have offered him, them, a heartfelt thank you.

I saw his face, I know his name, he’ll never know mine and yes, he was only a stranger on a train, our lives overlapped for less than thirty minutes, yet I know I’ll remember him and that moment forever. So wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, Michael Wilson, I thank you sincerely.

© 2014 Copyright

Maybe it's time to take another journey.......


  1. And you can't stalk him, because there must be tens of thousands of Michael Wilsons.

    But what a beautiful memory!

  2. Pretty amazing how that works. I've experienced it, too!
    Peace <3

  3. Nice story, Jase.

    Btw: I've been watching for you to post a blog entry. It's been some time. (Did you get my e-mail for your b/day in which I explained why I'd been unable to comment on your recent blogs?)
    Now, with my computer 'repaired', (but with some new and worse problems than before!) I can now open up your blog easier then I could, so that's something at least - even though ALL my stored documents and most of my saved pics have now been lost forever - Dammit!

    Anyway, back to your blog entry - your experience makes me think of the Billy Eckstine/Sarah Vaughan 'Passing Strangers', a song that's now going to be in my head all day, but that's okay.

  4. Trains always have a certain romance. Everyone on a train is going somewhere - even just home - and everyone is thrown together. Perhaps that is why they inspire so many novels and films!

  5. Indeed: I thought this lovely prose.

  6. Thanks for the comments guys, internet is back for me so I can reply and post again!

  7. Haha, I did think of doing a slight cyberstalking for a moment or two, but then put it out of my mind. You're right, it is a nice memory and its the face of a stranger that I'll never forget. What more could I want?

  8. Hey Ray, yes thanks I did get your email, which was part of the reason I simplified the design of the blog, so it was easier to open. I also limited the number of posts on the front page, again hopefully making it easier to open.

    J have every sympathy for your computer issues, I lost so much data earlier this year after my last laptop completely broke, it can be hell.

    Passing strangers, lovely song, my granny used to love it. My granny always used to say, always be kind to a stranger, because one day you'll need the kindness of a stranger!

  9. Hey P, yes you are so right, trains always have had inspiration for creative thinking, so many things are centred around them or on them in the world of fiction. The stories they inspire can be as varied as the passengers that travel upon them. The lack of instant escape also adds another layer of inspiration.


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