Scene: Los Angeles Union Station enroute to San Diego
“Is this the line for the train to San Diego?” he asked.
Meetings on top of meetings filled my mornings. I’d rushed out the door and just narrowly missed the first train immediately after my last meeting.
No problem. I’ll just book my ticket on the phone en route. I thought to myself. But that didn’t happen. I was there before I could finish the details.
I jetted to a quick pay station, grabbed a few snacks for the road and stopped finally at the huge line. I’d just put my things down and caught my breath when he approached me.
“This is my first time taking a train here.” he said with his neatly printed out itinerary.
“Oh yeah? Where are you coming from?”
“I used to live in the OC. I just moved to LA a couple of months ago. Now I live and work downtown.”
“Me too. It’s fantastic. Did you see the landing this weekend? I went to the Independant to watch it. It was amazing.”
“Um on Mars. The Curiousity. It was an amazing weekend full of science. There was a pretty big event with Bill Nye this weekend as well as some lectures and commontarry done by people who actually worked on it while we were watching the landing at the Independent.”
“Really? Do you know people at JPL?”
“Not personally but friends do. The people around me are pretty amazing.” I said as I pulled out my cell phone to show a couple of videos from the weekend.
It was at this moment that the rest of the first impression caught me. There he was looking like a normal midwest guy in jeans, t-shirt and… Packers hat.
“I take it you’re going down for the Chargers game?”
“Packers.” he said as he motioned to the hat.
“You’re going too?”
“Yeah my dad gave me tickets so I’m going with a friend. Where’s the rest of your crew?”
“I’m going alone. Took the day off. Everyone else couldn’t come. They’re in the office.”
We ended up talking about work- as is the common tarry here in Los Angeles. His world is very conventional and structured. Mine is and well…
“Do you like going to work everyday?”
“Do I have to wear pants?”
“What do you do?”
“I’m an artist.”
“But what do you do?”
“I’m a storyteller.”
“And you get paid for that?”
“Do you love it?”
“Very much so and not at all at times. Like days when I have to go in office and wear pants when the work could be done elsewhere without them. But then there’s days like this one where I can jam out two meetings and then head down south on an adventure with a friend because I don’t have to worry about an office.”
He smiled again. Even if we existed in two other worlds, I think there was a connection… if only for a moment.
The line started to move.
“Better keep up.”
We looked at eachother for a moment in silence as we walked. He attempted to keep up. I continued my pace towards the train weaving between slow moving weekend travelers and small children.
“I see an outlet. I need to grab it so I can work.”
I entered the row and looked to my side as I unpacked my laptop. As I found my seat we looked at each other one more time. He would go one way. I would go another.
Maybe in a different world we would have exchanged information as we sat on the train or even hung out briefly at the game and fallen in love. Maybe for a moment…
But alas some things just aren’t meant to be.