Have you ever wondered what happened to the man who disappeared? Sandra Livingston did, until the day he spoke to her. She's stuck in the middle of a mid-life crisis even though she has not hit m...
Note: Don't own them, wish I did! And remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the man who disappeared? Neither did I, I just saw him walk down the road, and then leave; never to turn his head back towards us. Have you ever wondered what happened to the man who smiled at you at the bus stop? Neither did I; I just looked back into my newspaper, ignoring him.
But what if I did pay attention to him? Just once?
I saw a man once, at the bus stop while I was waiting to go to work. Normally, I wouldn't have given the time of day for him, I would have just looked at him and glance back into my newspaper, reading the day's headlines, indulging in the seventy-five cents I paid for the only intellectual sustenance I would receive for the day. I would just read until the bus to take me through the ten years of decayed buildings that was now commonplace here in Princeton. Except today.
Today was different.
I first saw him about a month ago. He was sitting at the end of the bench on Baker Street, near that old white brick apartment building with the glistening historical plaque that I've always thought I loved. He sat there alone, just staring at a key he fiddled with in his right hand; his left hand held onto an old and worn-out cane that was currently supporting his chin. It was obvious he was deep in thought, but I didn't know about what. It would have been rude to ask, of course what I was doing was even ruder, and I didn't even realize that I was guilty of it at the time. I had been staring but didn't know it. That same stranger with the can made sure that I knew that fact though when he looked at me and yelled, "You got a problem?"
I looked away, blushing from embarrassment, and at that moment, the bus came. But he did not get on.
I looked back at the bus stop once I was on the bus, and saw him fiddling with the key again in his hand. Part of me wanted to know more, but the bus turned the corner before I could see what it was I was looking for. I sat in my seat and turned my eyes back to my newspaper, reading the headlines for another short while before the rubble of old buildings would catch my eye and I would find myself staring into the oblivion of the city around me.
When I got off the bus after work at its Baker Street stop, I paused for a moment where the anonymous man had been seated. I slid my hand along the wood of the back of the bench, feeling its rough fibers caress my skin. I continued just to feel and observe the bench, the grain of the wood dancing in front of my eyes. It was like magic. I sat down in the spot where the man had been and looked down at the ground where his eyes would have met beyond the small key earlier. What was he doing there? I vaguely remember seeing him before, maybe around the block, or maybe at the free clinic I worked at. Either way, something about him caught me off guard and made me stop to think.