Friday the 13th

/ Saturday, May 14, 2011 /
Untitled © Chrissie Smolders

I am not one for superstition, but today was under a bad spell. Before I entered the B62 from Gold St to Bedford Ave, the bus had gotten quite full. I sat down on a seat reserved for the elderly and disabled, next to a teenage boy. He was wearing baggy pants and sat down comfortably. As we sat together, our legs touched.

Whenever I touch a stranger, I make sure to quickly get some space between us. It's not about not wanting to touch the stranger, it is an act of insecurity. When one moves away, it is a rejection of the other. I feel like I don't want to experience this too often, which is why mostly it is me who moves away first.
Today however, both of us did not move. For about fifteen minutes we sat there.
I could feel the warmth of his body through both of our jeans. A man came in and sat down next to me on the other side. Heading towards a difficult task, I felt safe and comforted. I watched people enter the bus and leave, like a simple display of life. At some point, the boy got up and left. The sudden loss of warmth against my body felt like a big gaping hole. I got cold. And I thought about how nice it had been, touching this stranger. About how uncommon it felt that we did not move away from each other.


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