A stranger and airport sounds and stranger things have happened
To a stranger across the Atlantic:
For six months we shared a city. We “met” (well, not exactly, but if I may use that term loosely) thanks to some blinking lights. We’ve exchanged a handful of words (all written) and I’ve never heard your voice and I only know a picture of you that I’ve cobbled together – a human-sized puzzle with so many pieces kicked under the couch, gone missing from their box.
Whether it’s you – or the mystery of you - or this unfounded confidence I have that we will meet someday – I find you entirely fascinating. I start to wonder what strangers are, these so-often-compelling people whom I’ve only sort of met. I think of how you string the written word with slightly foreign cadence, and that I might find this same quality in your voice. And I picture you as the bearer of a sort of pleasant melancholy, however diametric that sounds, and you would make me laugh. Yes, the very notion of a person can stir a million smiles.
I most enjoy the way you elegantly enter and exit my frame of reference; leaving my thoughts for weeks at a time, slipping in, quietly leaving again.
Today, stranger, you are on my mind, as at this moment you’re in this city for hours or days or weeks, I am unsure. I walk downtown, the uncharacteristically warm day making dirty rivers of Toronto’s ashen snow, and raise my eyes that I may see you across the street. It would be easy to say “hello, let’s have a coffee, finally” and chase your mystery with bitter liquid and something tangible. But to destroy the notion of you, an ocean away, slipping in and out of my thoughts? I’ve always been one to romanticize things. There’s something so lovely about this cobbled image I’ve sketched that I’m comfortable keeping it clasped in hand, in head, in heart.
Maybe you will read this. That’s okay. And if you don’t, that’s okay, too.