Today’s Perfect Moment should have been seeing Star Wars with my friends. It was an enjoyable evening at the movies that even spilling my rootbeer on my favourite shirt couldn’t dampen. In most circumstances, I would not hesitate to write (spoiler free of course) about the film. Brief though it might have been, I have chosen something else. I have chosen something that happened afterward.
On the way home, I journeyed part of the way with my friends. I had been a little reluctant to do so because it was a route that required 3 different subway journeys instead of one–yes, Toronto transit can be that complicated. Upon weighing convenience to spend a few more minutes with friends, I chose friends.
Maybe there were lots of perfect moments, but the one I choose to ponder is the one that began when my friends got off the subway and I made my way from the northbound train to the eastbound train (before I had to get on another northbound train). I looked at the sign that displayed the time of the next train. Despite having my glasses on, I couldn’t see it.
I should remark that I have had the opening lines of the Counting Crows “Mr. Jones” running through my head for weeks now. The line goes something like “Down at the New Amsterdam, staring at this yellow haired girl…..”
Rather than squint, I asked a blonde woman in a toque what time the subway was coming. Now, before you accuse me of hitting on her, I wasn’t. Yes, song running through my head, but my impatience for the subway and my general shyness prevented that.
I am not one to strike up conversations with strangers (unless we are talking about books or in a bookstore) but somehow we started talking. I should also mention, that perhaps to ward off any of the aforementioned hitting on, she casually mentioned her husband and the custom made shirts she had just bought him for Christmas in the conversation. In flirting times past, this was always a heartbreaking moment. Perhaps, because I was not flirting, this did not have the same effect on me.
When the subway came, she wished me a “Merry Christmas”. While I had thought she was an attractive woman, it was only at this moment that I realized how truly beautiful she was. Her smile was…..there really isn’t any other way to describe it than perfect.
Getting back to the Counting Crows song, later on there is a line “She is suddenly beautiful.” That is kind of the effect were talking about here. It was like a brilliant light had been turned on. No, that’s too cliché. It was like opening the door on a cold winter night and as you quickly thaw out, you catch a whiff of someone baking chocolate chip cookies. You are experiencing it even before you realize you are experiencing it.
We boarded the train together and I watched her drift a few seats away. A few stops later I got off and kept walking. It led me to wonder about all the people who pass through our lives for brief moments. If we could collect the light that they bring…..wouldn’t that be wonderful.