As the light turns red, you look left and look right; every stranger next to you has a story. A glowing mother looks back and tickles her child’s foot. A frustrated father anxiously scans a map. An elderly man and woman, old and frail, can barely see over the dash board. Two teenagers sing to the song on the radio. You know every person has a story; you observe them and try to place them. Are they from this state, what does their license plate say? Why does she look so tired and why does he look miserable? Where are they going? Why? You will never really know, but you can try to, in a few seconds, place them. The new mother loves her child more than anything in the world. The father is anxious because he isn’t sure where he is going and has heard one too many “Are we there yet” s. The elderly couple have been with each other for so long that they can sit in silence and know what the other is thinking. The teenagers and young, naïve and full of live. And there is always that one inexplicable moment where you lock eyes with the stranger next to you and you know who they are, where they’re from and where they are going. These moments can’t be explained, they don’t happen very often, and they last for seconds only, but something just happens and you understand the person that you are looking at. Then the light turns green and both cars move away, you might never see that person again but even though no words were spoken between you, you aren’t strangers anymore.
January 10, 2010