Opening words . . .

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Love and Crocuses

His tall frame folded down into the GO train seat and with a weary sigh, he impressed those who noticed with how glad he was to be going home. His approach to finding a seat, sitting his bag on the floor by his feet and settling in for the ride suggested that this was his regular route to work and back each day.

He reached for his ringing cell phone and I stole a longer look over the top of my magazine. His hair was thin and he wore a grey shirt to match his hair and a charcoal tie under a beige trench coat. His tired face and slouch gave away his hard day at work. A passing lady bumped him on the shoulder with her bag, but he didn't respond. His brown leather document bag was partially unzipped.

A bunch of flower-store wrapped crocuses peaked through the open end of the same bag. Crocuses. It was spring, and a gentlemen with a bouquet of flowers can make any woman's heart leap in hope and anticipation. Celebrating love is a perfect way to usher in spring.

He pressed the appropriate button on the keypad. His expression was focused.

"Hello Darlin', I'm on the 5:03 to Pickering, so it won't be long now and I'll be home."

His voice was deep and clear, not whispered. He either was oblivious to those who might hear or completely unconcerned that anyone heard his communication of love.

"Okay, I love you too."

After a quick shuffle, the cell phone disappeared into the folds of his coat. He bowed his head slightly over the newspaper lying in his lap. He closed his eyes; a quick nap and he would be home to his love.
It was a moment worth contemplation. It is not often in the run of a day that a person sees such evidence of enduring love. It was old love compared to young love. They were crocuses, not roses. It was thoughtful love infusing the atmosphere with sweet verbal incense.

The train lumbered on toward the east, to the suburbs, stopping at the regular stations. The gentlemen with the flowers continued to nap with his head bent over his lap. The engineer blew the whistle as the train arrived in Pickering. Commuters crowded toward the exits. He protected the flowers in his bag, holding them up to his chest as he queued toward the door.

The train began to pull away. The couple in each other's arms flitting by the train windows like an old movie film assured me that the love they shared was genuine and eternal. A bright yellow blur was the finishing touch on the picture as the train moved on.