Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fancy meeting you here.

I was standing outside my building on campus yesterday, enjoying the wintry sunshine and a couple minutes' solitude before my 10:00 class. Things were quiet. A young woman arrived on a bicycle. Two students shared a cigarette. On the sidewalk, twenty-or-so feet away, stood a young man, just waiting. fa-la-la.

After a few minutes, 9:00 classes were dismissed. People exited one building and tromped right into another. One of the smokers dropped the cigarette into the butt can. The bicycle rack filled up. Impatient students took off over the wet grass, cutting snail trails across the quad.

The guy on the sidewalk, though, was still waiting. Maybe his girlfriend was held up in class, or his study partner was sleeping through the alarm.

After a couple more minutes, the crowd began to thin out again. Only a few stragglers, the guy on the sidewalk, and I remained. A young woman exited my building and made her way down the sidewalk--either to her next class, or to breakfast, or back to the dorm for more sleep. She strode with purpose past the young man who had been waiting on the sidewalk.

"Hey!" he said. "How you doin'?"

"Oh, hi!" she said.

And then she was gone--down the sidewalk, well on her way to one more day closer to Spring Break.

The young man stood and watched her walk away. Then he turned and walked off in the other direction--to his next class, or to breakfast, or back to the dorm for more sleep.

Whatever. He'd done what he came to do.

image, LIFE Picture Collection Photo Archive, Photographer: Cornell Capa, 1951.


Anonymous said...

Being a former young man, I love your insight. So nice.

Laura said...

It is amazing that you caught that. I wonder how often that kind of thing happens here, anyway?

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