by K. A. Lamar

             Will we see each other again?  Share more than an engaging commuter exchange?  Perhaps kindle each other’s souls? 
             I relive the vivid memory of that evening every day—like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.”
“May I sit here?”
             I’m mindlessly daydreaming as the city’s landscape rolls by—30th Street Station, tall glass castles, concrete highways, speckles of cars, Boat House Row.  It’s been a long day.
             He surprises me with his request—the seat next to me is empty, but so is half the train car.  Perhaps working overtime was not such a dreadful necessity after all.
             “Yes, sure,” I reply, awkwardly.  He smiles and casually sits down next to me.
            “Had you been reading, I wouldn’t have disturbed you.  I couldn’t help but notice the book on your lap.  I’m a huge fan of Grisham.”
             I had not yet opened The Last Juror and actually forgot it was sitting on my lap.
             “I am, too.  I’ve read most of his works.  I hope this one doesn’t let me down.”
             “It won’t.”
            His sky blue eyes mesmerize me—they gaze at me with warmness.  His attractive smile invites further conversation.
             “So you’ve read The Last Juror already,” I quip.  Which Grisham book is your favorite?”
             A Time to Kill.  I really enjoyed his first attempt.  He hasn’t disappointed me since.  What other authors do you enjoy?”
            That question opens the door to a labyrinth of fascinating conversational topics—a journey as varied in conversation as the colorful fall landscape stretching beyond the window panes.
            We share common likes—literature, plays, movies, sports, cars.  I realize that it is possible to fall head over heals for a total stranger in 40 minutes.  We never do reveal our names.  Our conversation is too fascinating for trivia.
            The conductor bellows “Paoli!” as the train gently rolls to a stop. 
             “I can’t believe it’s Paoli already.  It’s been great talking to you.  Maybe I’ll see you on the train again?”  Is this simply a rhetorical question?  Or, do I ascertain sincerity in actually desiring such a chance meeting again?
            His charming casualness and conversational ease elicit my strong desire to ask him to please continue this journey with me—well into the night, possibly?
            As he exits the seat, I softly acknowledge, “Yes, it’s been really nice.  Maybe…” 

I’m mindlessly daydreaming, staring at the twinkling lights glittering along the banks of the dark Schuylkill River.  A copy of Grisham’s The Broker lies on my lap—unopened.  Perhaps overtime will produce good karma tonight.  I wonder.



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