He left me a letter at the back of the book I was reading. We spent three days together, mostly reading each others books and at times we would join in conversation. He told me about his new job in San Francisco and why he was leaving the country side. To be honest, he didn’t look like a man who would fit in anywhere. He had a country boy smile, but his eyes longed for something more, something meaningful.
Dear Catherine, he used my full name, although we spoke of one another as Kate and no, not Leopold, but Jeff (Jefferson). He wrote the whole letter himself, his handwriting wasn’t the best, so it took me a while to decipher what he wrote.
This was perhaps the best weekend of my life. That was such a cliche, meeting a girl on a train and making small conversation, reading her deepest desires and then just like in the movies give her a sign that you might like her. Anyway, he wrote that he wished he could ride along for a little while longer, but he couldn’t. Other obligations… He ended the letter with perhaps an overused phrase, Yours truly Jefferson. P.S. I might take you upon that offer. Hope to see you somewhere where fate might grant us another chance.
At the station, I waved him goodbye. At that point I haven’t read the letter yet and if I did, I wouldn’t change one thing. For me, he was a companion for the lonesome train ride. Nothing more. Nothing less.
He kissed my cheek, like almost lovers would. I smiled, what else could I do? He climbed off the train, and I waved mouthing the words “Goodbye Sir”. No name, just sir. He was and probably will stay an acquaintance, someone I met briefly on a train to nowhere…
Ek loer met my hande gebak om my oë, deur die venster en sien hoe jy daar by tafel sit met ‘n iPhone in jou hand. Jy tik idees, aanhalings en notas vir jou volgende selfie-post. Filosofies. Uit die boks. Nee, vee ‘uit die boks’ uit – skryf liewer geen boks – no limits (behalwe as dit by drank kom). Jy druk die kamera-toep. Pout. In gedagte. Kyk in die kamera. Fokus. Sit ‘n hoed op. Sit sonbrille op. Lyk cool. Swag. Moenie smile nie. Smile is so laas dekade. Edit die selfies met beautifier. Sit ‘n filter op – black and white, sutro, 1920’s. Caption this. Hashtags. Post dit op Instagram. Wag vir die notifications – Xander98 just liked your photo. Sukses bloei na die hoeveelste notification – jou selfie van ‘n man(vrou) wat smag na die aanvaarding van die samelewing en ‘n gevoel van lewe deur ‘n filosofiese aanhaling met ‘n gedokterde foto
was ‘n hit.
I peak through your window and see a man sitting at the table with an iPhone in his hand. You type ideas, quotes and notes for your next selfie post. Philosophical. Out of the box. No, rather no box – there is no limits. You click on the camera and a few moments later, your face appears to be the centre of attention. Pout. In thought. Stare into the camera. Focus. Put accerrosies on. Underline cool. Swag. Don’t smile. Smiling is so last decade. Edit the selfies with beautifier. Filter the images – black and white, sutro, 1920s. Caption this. Hashtags. Post it on Instagram. Wait for the first notifications – Xander98 just liked your photo. Success flourishes notification after notification, comment after comment – Your selfie of a man(woman) who tastes after the acceptance of society and a sense of life through a philosophical quote with a documented picture
was a hit.