The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.


She chooses her clothes carefully, this seems clear. Her shoes are leather, the hat on her head is fashionable, the hair underneath well-kept. She is staring ahead and muttering, shaking her head, making declarations.

A fellow tram passenger and I are looking at her ears–checking for a phone, a Bluetooth headset, an explanation for the fact that she is talking hurriedly to herself. The passenger and I glance up at each other. We share a look–our eyes wet with a shock of tears, our brows drawn together in compassion for her. Perhaps in her we are seeing so many women in our lives. Since we are strangers, we cannot hug her, but we can hold her in this gaze. She talks and talks to a point in the air. Finally, she gathers her things and leaves us to stare into space ourselves, reflecting, grateful, wishful.

–Budapest, Hungary.
budapest, hungary, danube tour

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