Voices speaking in English. I was brought out of my Japanese vocabulary by voices speaking in English on the train. They were standing close to me, three guys in their early twenties, from different parts of the world, talking about their Japanese class.
It's so rare. If I take the train to and from HPAC, chances are good that maybe once I'll see someone who isn't Japanese somewhere in the station or in a passing train car. But to be near three of them speaking in English.... I felt a little lonely bubble inside of me pop. A feeling of comfort, a reminder of being on trains in cities in America where there are lots of different people from many countries speaking different languages. I remembered a world to which my arms once extended as they lie folded now in my lap. Sometimes it is surreal to be here and hard to know what to believe.
They each got off at different stops, the last one at the end of the line. We got off and I immediately lost sight of him in the crowds of people. But we had no further to go.