Friday, November 14, 2008
Just a thought
If we were riding a train, randomly sitting beside each other this afternoon, somewhere between our office stops and the stop that was near my house or yours or where you had to switch lines so that you could meet your friends for an after work drink or I had to get off to visit a friend, we might strike up a conversation, you and I. It might start with the weather, Going to get cold tonight, I hear. You'd say that. I'd nod, mumble something along the lines of having heard that too. I'd look at the map above the doors, count how many stops to where I get off. I'd look at the untied shoelace falling from a little boy's tennis shoe and onto the dirty floor and I'd follow the line of his legs upward to see his stubby hand gripping his mother's knee while she blocked out all other passengers in a straight-ahead blank gaze. I'd glance over at the oblivious punk with his headphones so loud that the base was audible to most of us in the car around him. But what I'd be thinking about is Cheetos, specifically, the jalapeno cheese cheetos. I'd ask you if you've tasted them. You'd pull back a bit in surprise, tell me that yes you have, and by your smile, I'd know that you found them quite good. And I'd say, I know, right? I'd tell you that I tried them out sort of by mistake, pushing the wrong button on a machine at our office. You'd joke that it was a mistake in my favor. It's then that I'd notice the telltale orange on your fingertips and know that you were telling the truth. And for two more stops, we'd hang there in the balance of our newfound and brief friendship, sealed by a cheeto.