Monday, September 17, 2012

Waiting for Trains – Richard Currey

There’s a whole lot packed into this little story. I read it several weeks ago, and as it has been happening over the last years or so, I’m finally getting around to writing about it. I’m writing about the story in the same location that I read it so perhaps I get some points for that?!

It’s 4:24 in the morning – a Monday morning, and I’m manning the help desk at ODU. Sitting at this desk during the early morning hours, I have noticed that I have a group of regulars that spend this time with me.

I sit here and wonder about them. What’s their story? Why are they here in the library?

I wonder if they wonder about me. Between pages, do they glance up and look over at this guy sitting behind the Help desk and wonder what paths in life he has taken to land him here. Perhaps it has crossed their minds – but I’m sure it’s far less than me thinking about them. I have the luxury to think – unlike them who may be stuck between walls of study.

It’s so quiet in here during these hours. I can hear the air-conditioning blowing through the many vents here in this space; I can hear the sniffles of the students, the pages turning, the printers kicking out copies, chair creaking.

Last Friday, I sat outside of work and waited for M and W to arrive. They were late because of a strange series of events that just caused them to be off their schedule.

As I sat and waited, I pulled a book out of my bag, read a few sentences, returned it to my bag and just looked at the clouds.

This is something I need to do more often. I need to just be.

I don’t need to be reading, clearing messages off my phone, checking accounts or any other number of things that busy my hands and mind.

The clouds were beautiful. High, thin, feathery, whispery clouds. The wind at their altitude must not have been strong because they held their shape for some time – really not changing at all. I saw planes at different altitudes and I thought about where they could be going. I thought about the people in those planes.

I looked at the sun as it was reflected in the windows of the buildings of the city. I watched ants crawl on the sidewalk below me.

I felt a mosquito bit me on my finger.

I watched coworkers leave for the weekend.

I smelled something, I couldn’t identify it – and I noted that.

I need to look around me more. I think we all do.