At long last, the moment I had been looking forward to for a few weeks, where I could sit back, listen to whatever music I wanted with my headphones in and knit or look out the window, had arrived. And it flew by so quickly. Shortly after catching the train we had a delicious vegetable heavy dinner, enjoying several of the fresh greens Amil had purchased at a farmers market in Chicago, then chatted and quickly drift to sleep curled awkwardly in our train chairs.
Amil and have developed two different train etiquettes. He tends to roam the train, spending a bit of time in the lounge car, chatting with interesting people or being chatted with because he looks interesting. I prefer the aforementioned reclusive routine. As a result of his social skills, though, we have met many interesting people and developed some exciting stories. On the train to Chicago, though, Amil was reminded of the power of listening. A man by the name of Rapheal? From Guatemala had a lot to say and didn’t have much time for listening. We had had a similar experience with an old Hippie artist named Doc on the train to Santa Cruz in January. We’re pretty good at following along and listening, and practice only makes us better…Amil got a lot of practice on that train ride. Nevertheless, he reminds me that “no one is a stranger if you choose to look at them as a friend.”
As we rolled into the city we had both known with a distant familiarity, Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York played on the intercom bringing forth a playful smile. It was good to be back in a city with so much possibility, even if it seemed to counteract many of my environmental ideals. Little did I know how little I would be taking advantage of the city this trip.