Waiting for the Train

By Itai Rosenbaum

Daniel sat, waiting for his train.

Daniel liked sitting here. There was a lot of love in this place. A lot of emotion – love, hate, regret, longing. Love mostly, though. While he waited, he watched the people around him, try to read them. He would try to learn a little about the people at the station through their actions. You could learn a lot that way, and Daniel was good at watching and learning.

Seated next to him was an elderly woman. He’d seen her before at the station. She comes once every couple of days, gets off the train coming from Uptown and waits for the train to the Market. Several hours later he’d see her making the trip back, bags of fruit and vegetables in her little trolley. Sometimes she’d get a loaf of bread. In his head, Daniel would name them. He could sort out his thoughts easier if they had names. The old lady was Mrs. Pierce. There was a Mr. Pierce once, but he passed on several months ago. When he was alive they would make the trips to the market together. Daniel remembered Mrs. Pierce would come back from the market with a flower in her hair each time, a red rose. That was love right there. Love that went up against time and won. Mrs. Pierce still came back with a flower. But now she held it in her hands. Tightly, so  that it will not blow away in the wind. It was a black iris now.

The station gushed and shook, a train was pulling in. People bustled onto the train, while simultaneously people were trying to get out; there was noise and commotion. Daniel watched. Jonathan stepped off the train. Jonathan was a big shot, a lawyer, an agent or something like that. He was married, he had a ring, but Daniel never saw Jonathan’s wife. He did see his girlfriend, though. Several of them. Jonathan had a lot of love to spread. Today he was with Tiffany. Or was it Angela? Daniel got all of Jonathan’s girlfriends confused, they looked similar – young, full of life. The only one of Jonathan’s “girlfriends” Daniel immediately recognized was Tobias. Even though Tobias dressed and looked the same as Jonathan’s other girlfriends, Jonathan was different around Tobias – gentler, more delicate. Jonathan grabbed Tiffany’s ass as they walked out of the station. Or was it Angela?

Daniel sat, watching, waiting for his train. He watched Chris, the snack vendor, as his girlfriend paid him a surprise visit. He watched old Albert sit in his corner, thanking the passerby’s for their change. He’d pet his cat all day long, holding it close. He watched the new janitor, Daniel decided on Frank, unwrap a lovingly made sandwich, and relish each bite.

One day, he hoped, someone would watch Daniel. Someone would watch him and learn about him and his love.

But for now Daniel sat, waiting, for his train.

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Filed under Issue 1, Prose, Short Story

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