The glass that contains the reflection belongs to the Metrorail in
This illusion of time is shattered as I sit and stare at me. The illusion becomes solid the longer I sit and this man holds my stare. The image doesn’t change. The sun behind my head that makes the image possible warms my recently shaved head, bounces off the glass and onto my retina, burning in the image of the older man, the one that used to be me. I am on my way to the
I’m thinking as I stare. The thoughts are not the type you can capture, but more like the dreams of night, fleeting and then gone. They are not the sort of thoughts that one can write about. At least I can’t organize them, and I have no paper and no laptop. I have my transitory thoughts only, plus a suitcase, and the older man image staring back at me. I sit motionless as if in a trance, staring at the image of the man that used to be me.
The train rocks and weaves, even seeming to bounce. It crawls to a stop at Busch Stadium where the Cardinals play and fans are exiting the stadium and crowding onto the train. Young boys with their fathers are wearing persistent smiles formed in place by baseball and train rides and sunny days of youth spent in
I didn't like this man at first, when I first saw him on the train, this man staring resolutely back at me, his gaze following my own without embarrassment. I have been staring at him for an hour now. Bumping and weaving along, people coming and going and yet this man never moved. He only stared back at me and somewhere along the way I began to warm up to him.
He looked kind in a way. He looked expressionless as if he were deep in thought about something but he wasn’t about to let me know what it might be. He seemed more agreeable to me now, this man that stared back, this man that used to be me.
The man in the glass smiled. Finally he even laughed. As I rose to exit at the airport I looked at him a last time. I saw a tear on the cheek of the man in the glass, this man that used to be me and never cried. Then the man laughed at himself again at the same moment that I laughed at him.
I liked him now, this wise and kind looking older man; this man that smiled and laughed at himself. I said goodbye to this reflection in the glass; goodbye to the man that used to be me.