10 October 2013
I was at the local station waiting for my bus to arrive. It was pretty chilly outside and everyone was just minding their own business. I just stood there, waiting…doing nothing specifically. Then all of the sudden, I saw a man.
He was wearing a nice suit, I think he just got out of the office. He was probably in his late 50’s, and was simply walking. But there was something about this man… It was like I looked pass his outside and went straight to his inside. No, not his organs, blood or veins, but mentally.
He just walked pass me, but he walked really slow. One cigarette in his left hand. Seemed like he didn’t visit the station quite often, as he looked around a few times, not knowing what was going on. Then he stopped, and just stared for about a few seconds. He didn’t really do anything, but he was so interesting to me.
Suddenly it all made sense. Everything just fell in place. I looked around and saw all the people. They were all living in their own world. No one paid attention. No one seemed to notice the old man. They all walked by him without even giving him the slightest glance.
I began to observe the man a little bit more and started getting thoughts. He didn’t really look happy, but at the same time, not sad either, rather confused. Confused about what? He grabbed his phone and looked at it for a few moments, than put it back in his pockets. He didn’t carry a bag with his business documents or laptop with him, so maybe he didn’t come from work. Maybe he had no reason to live anymore, but wanted to look fancy. He might have lost his job a while back and his children refused to talk to him. Maybe he looked unto his phone to see if his daughter send him a text, to apologise, or to accept forgiviness for a wrong the man did. He may have not spoken to them in years. Maybe, this man had recently lost his wife, or got divorced. He didn’t know what to do anymore so he just went for a walk, that’s why he was walking so slow, he didn’t have a place to go to. This man could be lonely. He could be crying at night because he misses someone, or traumatised because of a burglary that happened years ago. The burglar wounded his wife and she died a few weeks later in the hospital because of the injuries.
Then…I saw my bus, I had to go. I took one last glance at this man. Then I thought, this man could be perfectly happy with his life. He may have just won the lottery and went for a walk to realise it all. One of his children might just have gotten a promotion, and he is super proud. I don’t know.
And as I walked towards my bus, I realised, no one noticed me. They might have, but they don’t know what is on my mind, just like I did not about the man. They may think I was sad, happy, mad, heartbroken, tired. But no one knows, only me. Only the old man knows. I felt the weirdest connection with a stranger, who doesn’t even know I exist, and didn’t know I observed him.
You could be sitting next to a person who is totally crushed on the inside…and you wouldn’t know it.