The boy was consumed by his imagination. He was standing at the front of the first car, where many of us stand if we’re intending to get off at Bloor-Yonge station. He stood beside a door that leads to the conductor’s space. In the door is a window that is mirrored on the passenger side.
The boy looked to be about 18, though a few pimples, slender build and his manner made him seem younger. He was turned to look into the mirrored window and I could see his face in the reflection, staring into his own eyes, head cocked teasingly to one side as his face transmitted a tender and earnest love.
He was a million miles away; lost in some story that caused his face and body to react in small movements as imagination unfolded events in his mind. Now and again he would change the placement of his lips or square his shoulder without taking his eyes away from his own eyes, oblivious to anyone around him.
Now and again he would turn back to face the car and the morning commuters, only to be called back to the story in his mind begging his attention back to the mirror. I couldn’t help but be amused at the thought of what he looked like from the conductor’s perspective on the other side of that window.
I know what it’s like, to have a story – real or imagined – take over my thoughts for hours, even days. In some ways I’m envious of the boy and his ability to give himself over so entirely to his internal story to the exclusion of everyone and everything around him. It made me think, he should be a writer.
On the other hand, the inherently reserved me couldn’t help but hope that at some time in my past, my own imagination given me away so completely in my own irksomely transparent face.