Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Scene One:

Time: Around 7:20 AM.
Place: Near home, on my way to the subway going to college, a window that's low enough to allow you to see things inside if it's open.

Behind the window there is a man in his late forties I think. For the last 3 years, in the early morning, some days of the week, this window is open. The man sits by the window looking for some light to help him paint. Every day I saw him as I passed next to the window he was working on a new painting. Some days it was a portrait, some days a landscape scene from a card or a picture he stuck to the corner of the frame. Every time I crossed the open window, I peeked at his painting, they were not that good, more usual if you know what I mean. He never noticed me, or I think so... A few days ago, I was passing next to the same window, it was open, he was there painting but this time he looked up at me. He smiled... That innocent smile you don't see a lot from old people "and by old I mean someone who is not a very young child". I smiled back at him and felt a bit light.
Walking away, I made a promise to myself that next time I see the window open, I will talk to him.

Scene 2:

Time: About 2:30 PM, the same day.
Place: The subway station next to college.

Going back home, it was very hot and the humidity really high. It's the rush hour, everyone is pushing to get to the clerk to buy a ticket. I was standing in the line squeezed among others, men and women. When it is this hot and crowded, people tend to forget the lines they are supposed to stand in. There is some problem with the machine rolling the tickets, the clerk is standing behind the glass looking confused and trying to fix the problem. The crowd is growing bigger and bigger, everyone is complaining about it. Finally, the machine worked, the clerk still standing started giving us the tickets. I was standing at the front row, he looked up at me, "something they rarely do, neither do we. Our relationship with the clerks is bound to looking at that small gap in the glass wall, where you can put your hand in with the money and get your ticket. Normally, both of you are looking down, never making eye contact or even talking most of the time... I don't know how many times I thought about this issue after I left with my ticket. The fact that someone would sit behind a glass wall to merely look at people's hands, what he might be thinking when he sees every single one. I always remembered Charles Dickens then, how he used to work for a shoemaker in an underground room with only a small window that showed him people's feet and shoes. He learned to differentiate between people and understand them from the way their shoes looked.". So the clerk looked up at me this time and he gave me a smile, very similar to the one the old artist gave me in the same morning. I froze for a moment, didn't know how to respond exactly, then I found myself with a big grin on my face. The rest of the people standing pushed me away from the glass but I didn't care. I went home feeling much lighter.


Bill said...

Hi gr,

Such a nice story :)

Im reminded of the tune (Looking Back) by Johnny "Guitar" Watson...was going to suprise U and send it...but...don't see a e-mail :(

Little Penguin said...

two smiles in one day? that's a lot, even for me.. if there's a magical spell, please share it as it tends to get boring on the train here, and nothing makes my day like a stranger's smile.. unspoken intimacy.. not quite intimate, but just acknowledgement..


Glory Rose! said...

Aw guys, keep on lightening my page everytime like this!! I really appreciate it! :)

Bill, thanks a lot mate, by now, you should have my address! :)

LP, I found out that the secret is to make eye contact with people, to search for this look!! Today, the same guy at the subway gave me a smile and talked to me!! He said "7amdella 3ala al salama"!! He seems to be a very nice guy! :)

Little Penguin said...

just make sure you dont get spellbound or anything.. we're yet to meet, i wanna have a go, too.. :P.. lol

stay well.. :)

Glory Rose! said...

Haha, look who is flirting now!! And you will blame it on me with the missuz!! :P Just kidding, you'll have your go, don't worry! :D :P

You know the first guy, I talked to him, well, not really talking but I saluted him and he said hello and smiled again! :D Am I having some good days or what?! :D

Mino said...

just rare *smile*

Glory Rose! said...

Welcome back buddy! Been so long! :)

Dr. Kafy said...

I always imagine but I try to convert it to real