Observations On the Train – Part Four
The young man’s smile is engaging, while his girlfriend sits placidly, brow furrowed with tension, locked in a computer embrace. They are from Chicago, and have taken the train to Davis, California to a friend’s wedding. He possesses a rather lovely SLR/digital camera, and spends most of his time gazing out the window and snapping frames of the countryside.
She looks up and smiles tightly, doe-like eyes magnified through the lenses of her glasses. Pale skin tells me it’s been a long time since she has basked in sunlight. Indeed she affirms a harried work schedule that, despite the sheer magnitude of her employer’s firm, is frankly enjoyable. If only the company were a bit smaller, while she rushes to erase any criticism with the kindness of coworkers; the leniency of a schedule with free weekends. She appears exhausted.
Her boyfriend overhears that I live in Hawai’i. He asks What city would you live in, if you could live anywhere in Hawai’i? I tell him that one is easy, for there is no city in the great, wide world I would ever choose to live in; that I am a straight-up country girl, craving clean air and soil and wide, open spaces. He insists. But IF you had to choose, where would it be? Presses me again with such eagerness and guile that I feel obligated to answer. Honolulu, I finally settle upon, sure he is going to inquire about job possibilities in his Internet Technology field. He seems delighted, sharing that he once applied for a job in Honolulu but was turned down. I encourage him to have another go, adding She, my head inclining toward his weary traveling companion, would be happy if you did! And am rewarded with that weak smile, that flawless porcelain skin furrowed at the brow.