Friday morning, which I started with half energy — spending this week trying to figure out if actually I am standing on the right path, only to find that I won’t figure it out in a matter of a week anyway.
I woke up early and 60 minutes later found myself in the station, waiting for my daily train. I let my eyes wandered, and my gaze fixed upon this elderly guy, almost bald, his remaining hair and eyebrows look more like silver than white. He wore glasses with a black frame, and thick lenses. He had fair skin and small eyes. If I have to make a guess, he was probably around 60, he had this oriental look on him. He wore a white and green striped polo shirt, and a dark green trousers.
What caught my eyes was because he walked so slowly, if not with some difficulties, his hand slightly shaking, his posture was somehow crooked, and there was a very familiar markings, a unique one in the way he walked that instantly reminded me of my late father, a stroke survivor. Or, he could be in early stage of Parkinson disease. Or, it’s just aging that’s happening to him.
I watched him until Cindy called me on the phone and then I stopped staring (note to self: staring is rude, stop it). I listened to her telling stories about her morning and then my train arrived, so I hang up. Even before the train fully stopped in front of me, I could see what has become of it: a sardine tin. And everyone insides were sardines, cramped together inside a tin. There is just no way anyone could enter that train, no one supposed to want to ride on that train. I decided that I love my life so much so I opted to wait for the next train.
As I wait, I looked around again and there he was, that elderly guy again! Let’s call him Kenzo from now on, for the sake of simplicity. Mr. Kenzo was standing there waiting for another train, but he was not alone. Somebody else was holding his hands, steadying him, helping him stand firmly. He smiled so warmly to the person standing by his side, a smile that makes me smile myself.
The other person was a woman, roughly the same age with Mr. Kenzo, but unlike him, she still still a lot of hair and it was black. She wore white shirt and a dark green trousers, matching Mr. Kenzo’s.
She looked like she was talking to Mr. Kenzo and the two of them just seems like enjoying each other’s company so much. I stood close enough to them, but did not hear any sound. They were gazing at each other, smiling, whispering sometimes, she was caressing his hands, he was staring at the station’s make shift roof, mouth half open, enjoying the soft orange sunlight above him, and smiling with his eyes. They stood very closely to each other, and even when they made no sound, I felt like I’m witnessing a very intimate conversation.
The atmosphere around them was so warm and calm, so different with the rushing atmosphere around other people, some with visible frustration over late and overcrowded trains, and strangely I found myself physically drawn towards them. It is as if I can also taste the warmth they share if I stood close enough.
I thought about my mom and dad. I thought about what my best friend’s mom told me a month ago, that when lovebirds lose its’ couple, she / he will just slowly losing their will to live too, the literally literal meaning of “I can’t live where you do not exist” — a thought so unreal for me, but makes a little sense when I see these two persons. I was a little bit drowned in those thoughts until the next train arrived.
I stepped into the train and they were behind me. No more seat available, so we stood there. I remember wishing with all my heart that someone will give his seat to Mr. Kenzo. But Mr. Kenzo — unlike most elderly people I saw on the train, he didn’t look around with pleading eyes, he was just too preoccupied with the lady who still holding his hand, steadying him by his elbow.
And then somebody stood up, a gentleman and gave his seat. Mr. Kenzo thanked him in a clear voice, smiled and sat. I smiled– I just cant help it and noticed that the man sitting in front of me was staring at me and he smiled too. Soon, the woman beside him smiled too and then offered her seat for Mr. Kenzo’s lady and she sat, after thanking that woman. The train moved, people come in and out and somehow I ended up sitting beside Mr. Kenzo. He was calmly looking around, seemed interested with the trains interiors.
Then we arrived at a very crowded station and so many people rushed inside, blocking his view of her Lady Kenzo, and it was then when he looked agitated. He kept searching for the face of Lady Kenzo behind a crowd that standing in front of him, smiling when he got a glimpse of her and staring to just one point: where she sat.
Some more stations and then I heard a clear voice calling, “Pa, we’re here.” Over and over again, and Mr. Kenzo’s eyes lit up and he smiled again. When the train stopped, people made way for Mr. Kenzo and the last thing I saw before the train doors shut was both of them, hand-in-hand, stepped out of the train.
Intimate conversations with no sound, attached to each other, seeing a dear person in front of us that weak legs and overcrowded train doesn’t really matter, supporting each other when our old bodies started to give up on us,
When I grow old, will I still be able to fall in love the way they do?
|Picture from here|