Of missed connections

I love train stations. The big ones anyways, the ones that are actually central stations and not some pit stop in the middle of a field somewhere. The big ones I love: Venice, Florence, Paris, Berlin, New York. So much coming and going, the hustle and bustle, the total commotion and yet complete logic and organization. Everything laid out clearly on bulletin boards – arrivals, departures. Brightly lit up screens: this train from this place to this place at this time on this platform.

I love train stations. Their moments of connection and yet total anonymity. A blonde girl about my age sits across from me in Florence. She also has a giant backpack, a giant book with a bunch of train ticket bookmarks.  In a way, she is a mirror image of me. We make eye contact and immediately have some sort of connection. I don’t know where she’s from but I can feel she speaks English and at that point more than anything I want to make some sort of contact with her. Where is she from? Where is she going? Does she want to find the aerobus to the Bologna airport together? Maybe she feels the same because we make eye contact many times, as if trying to convey something, trying to relate, show support.

We arrive in Bologna C.Le without saying a word. I don’t know if she knows where she’s going but it’s not in the direction I need to go. I am slightly dismayed. She looks back unsure, and then heads up a set of stairs to a Piazza. I continue on to the buses.

And just like that it’s like we never existed.

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