On Time

Every day, his commuter train infuriated him.

There, apparently, was no such thing
As being on schedule,
And consequently, his train
Left his station for the city,
Late…
Day after day.

Amidst that madness,
He waited impatiently,
Each day,
From the same seat,
Looking out the same window,
To the emptiness
Of his lackluster life…

Waiting for his train to depart.

And then one morning,
While his life was on hold,
Again,
He peered out “his” window…
And for the first time,
Paid attention to the train,
Just arriving,
On the adjacent track.

As the world of that train,
And all its passengers,
Came to a stop,
The seat in the car of that arrival,
Just opposite him…
Held her.

Just as he looked…
So did she.

In her eyes he saw a loneliness…
Dull aching, emptiness
With which he was all too familiar.

And,
Perhaps,
She saw the same in his eyes.

As the passengers of her train
Began to disembark,
She hesitated as she collected
Her belongings,
Choosing to invest
Just a few more seconds of eye contact
With him.

She smiled at him,
Just before leaving her seat,
For her workday,
Her arrival station…
His departure station.

And with her smile,
His day started anew.

But that brief moment of happiness,
Was soon overcome by the drudgery
Of his work life,
And her smile faded in his memory…

Until the next morning.

Late again, his train was not moving,
And though frustrated,
He remembered her,
And wished for “her” train to arrive…
And hopefully, catch a glimpse
Of that intriguing,
And beautiful woman.

His wish was granted,
And right on schedule,
Her train arrived,
And she, sitting in the same proximate seat,
Wasted no time
In flashing him that radiant smile.

Now, he began to appreciate a perfect grace
In his train’s tardiness.

As the days passed,
So did the deepening of
Their serendipitous morning encounters.

Smiles transitioned to simple notes
Held by each,
Against their windows,
Separated by so little,
But so much.

Each, now,
Sensed this deepening,
And a chance in each other,
To bring more meaning
To their lives,
Filling their mutual lonesomeness.

Then, one Thursday, they made a pact,
By means of notes held to the glass of
Each window.

The following Friday morning,
As soon as he saw her train arrive,
He would exit his train,
And she…
Hers.

And in doing so,
Wreck their workday,
But finally fill their lives,
And step beyond their
Notes-on-the-window relationship.

So on that Friday morning,
He sat on his never-to-move train,
In “his” seat,
Wanting so badly to hear
And then see,
Her train arrive,
Wanting desperately
To finally meet her,
And what would surely be
A newness in his lonely life.

But then…
He felt his train lurch,
As if beginning to move…
But that couldn’t be…
His train always left late.

“Please Stand Clear Of The Doors”
Shocked him as the conductor
Made that unexpected announcement.

This day…of all days
Promised so much.

And now, apparently,
His train began to leave,
On schedule.

He grabbed his briefcase,
And struggled,
Fighting fiercely to exit.

But it was too late.

The doors shut on him…
His emotions,
And his heart.

This day, of all days,
He expected,
And needed his train to follow
Its established lateness,
And stick to a schedule for him
To meet her.

But this Friday,
Of all days,
His train left…

On time.

 

© 2017 W. C. Stacia, Jr.

 

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