Three Words:

by | May 30, 2024 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

The train pulled in at the terminus and the flood of apathy drained out

They each knew three words. Like a baby in its first few months of life.

Hello – こんにちは

Thank you – ありがとう

Goodbye – さようなら

Yet, something happened on that first encounter. Something above verbal communication. Another language other than English and Japanese. Was it even a language, not being verbal? Notwithstanding, half a world of distance and two cultures which had never met were bridged in a second.

Nevertheless the spark was there on that train, surrounded by her kin. He felt like a fish out of water. Or was it an alien in another atmosphere?

The air was rarefied indeed, for a man from the sloppy west, dropped into the world in which the word clinical was inadequate. No hostility. Worse. Indifference. Ignored to the point of invisibility. He had never felt as if the air he occupied could have been put to better use as, well, air.

Amongst this absence of mortal contact in a car full of humans, one sign of true humanity caught his eye. A smile. Not with lips but with eyes, above the obligatory surgical mask. A pair of beautiful black spheres against a backdrop of hundreds of similar but soulless ones.The expression spoke a number of words, way above their respective vocabularies.

He had, of course, fallen in love a thousand times during his fortnight in this magical land. None of which were requited nor reciprocated. Like matches in a storm, they fizzled out as each subject passed by or stepped off the metro.

The train pulled in at the terminus and the flood of apathy drained out, leaving two foreign objects, caught in each others mesh of intrigue. It was then that he returned the smile, a big, fat full-faced European grin. Despite his awareness that it could strike fear into the coldest of oriental cold fish.

Surprisingly, his western gurn was greeted by an optical smile which trumped her introductory greeting.

Suddenly, their non-verbal conversation was interrupted by the umpteenth announcement, indicating that the train was about to return from whence it came.

Thus began a journey , not of words but of love.

1 Comment

  1. Ken Childs

    Intriguing.

    Reply

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