Every day, I see the same twenty-something guy walking west toward MSG as I walk east to my office on Park Avenue. We usually intersect at the same street corner like clockwork- never on the way home, we’re destined to see each other only every morning. I have seen this same person steadily for about a year, only missing him when I take the later train from NJ at 7:42, rather than 7:31. Otherwise, it’s a pretty reliable system.
Of course, I’ve had a lot of time to imagine what he does, what he’s like, etc. over the months I’ve encountered him, and this is what I’ve dreamt up: I’m pretty sure he has a girlfriend. No one can be that attractive and put together without some steady love interest. Plus, he usually wears a grey peacoat- that just screams attached Murray Hill highrise to me. I like to think he has a good personality, although I don’t think he’s a fan of NY sports team. Something about him tells me he’s ”not from around here” (I’m going with Wisconsin). I imagine he works in advertising/sales/finance. Those are also fairly large fields, with a fairly flexible definition, so I’m pushing it here. I realize that. He’s not a smoker.
I’m not a stranger (no pun intended) to developing a) a routine b) fictional internal storylines c) emotional attachments, but I must say that this particular gent is a comforting constant for reasons unknown. I know I sound like a
stalker creep insane all three? but honestly, it’s become a point of distinction every morning on my otherwise mundane commute. And when he does something new, I’m tempted each time to react like an old friend who heard a new story of his for the first time.
For example, he started skateboarding this summer down the street on his way to work and I swear to God, I almost stopped him to say- “When did you pick this up?!” and “PUT ON A HELMET FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, THE YELLOW ONES DON’T STOP!”
Last week when it was raining, he was wearing quite possibly the dorkiest bright red Land’s End jacket I have ever seen and I almost made a crack at him.
But he was dry, and I was running toward cover- which begs the question, what can he possibly think of me?