Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Conversations with Myself.

I'm standing in Paradeplatz after work one night, waiting for the 11 tram to come along. It's 8:36pm, and to my right is Credit Suisse, and behind me is UBS. I wonder what dastardly deeds and covert transactions transpired in these fine Swiss banking institutions today.

From a distance, I see the lit green sign on an approching tram, and the 11-Rehalp comes chugging along. I hop aboard, half listening to some NPR podcast playing the Decemberists' Hazards of Love, I think it is. I'm lost in my thoughts. My millions of thoughts occupying a simultaneously recessed mind. It's funny how that works.

Outside the window, I see the quai, and then the lights reflecting off the lake. The hustle and bustle of Bellevue and its many intersections comes along, and I notice they've changed the Ponyo adverts to some German poster I don't understand. Globus, Movenpick, and that yummy bratwurst stand flash across. Next up is Bahnhof Stadelhoften.

A woman boards the tram. She's an elderly woman, immediately finds her seat and proceeds to stare out the window. Glumly. Or so I think. It occurs to me to smile at her.

God, is that you? I wonder.

I turn my gaze towards the darkly swarthed woman, and the corners of my lips tip upwards. She's not looking.

But God, how am I supposed to smile at her, if she's not looking in my direction? Somehow, I feel pressured now to just get it done. 

The threshold has passed to make friendly eye contact. I ponder tapping her on the shoulder and grinning stupidly, but that's just straight up awkward. 

I wonder who she is. Did she just run to Migros, the local grocery store, after a long day of work, only to have missed store hours by 2 minutes? Does she have a relapsing daughter who refuses to seek treatment? WHAT IF she's having suicidal thoughts and this is the one thing that will keep her from jumping? Sure there are no cliffs in Zurich, but you never know.. One simple action..

Two stops later, the woman gets off, and I'm once again left alone with my thoughts, stumbling down tangents, thinking about everything and about nothing at all.

And so, I'm sitting, gazing out the window with the same far off look as when I boarded the tram. What dastardly deeds have newly opened safes unleashed tonight, Credit Suisse? 

1 comment:

Hyunsu said...

There's such an immensity that resides in each and every one of our minds. When I zoom by apartment buildings in a bus or people-watch on the subway, I am staggered by the idea that as complete and full the world in my mind is, there are millions of people around me who are each carrying their own running narrative. As I glance furtively at the otherness of the stranger across me, he too looks at me and sees only a mask of my self.

I just discovered your blog, m'dear. I'm now a fan :).

Stratford forever, girl friend.