Sunday on the GO
Waiting at the Appleby GO yesterday (a place I’d actually never been before) I met this woman, Charleen, as I later discovered. As I came up the corridor to the platform I could hear her having a frantic phone conversation, I didn’t want to interrupt, but she stopped me to ask if she was in Hamilton, I told her where she was, asked her where she was going and assured her that she was in the right spot for where she was headed. I left the corridor so she could have her privacy, a decision I instantly regretted cause it was really cold outside for shorts and a t-shirt. When she was done on the phone she leaned out the door and asked about places to get food near by, I told her about a gas station I had passed but everything else was probably too far for her to make it back in time for the train. I offered her the rest of my Cheezies, but she was more looking for coffee and potato chips. Another man came on to the platform, it had just been us two until that point, and he asked how to buy a ticket, I tried to explain where the ticket booth was, but because of the way Appleby is set up it was to tricky and I just grabbed my stuff and walked him to the booth, Charleen came with us on our short adventure. Upon returning to the platform Charleen and I had a seat on the floor of the corridor, and she told me I must be a little angel, for helping her and the other lost fellow out. Charleen found some strawberries and caramel in her bag that she insisted on sharing with me. As we talked she drank a Vex cooler,..apparently she’s been drinking with people earlier that day, I guess that was the left overs. I learned that Sharleen was lost in the city because it was Sunday and no one was around to help her till I turned up. She came from Alberta for the weekend to visit her family she hadn’t seen in 21 years (HOLY CRAP that’s my whole life) she had a 15 year old daughter and a pit bull waiting for her at home in Alberta. She died her hair blond, but still made jokes about being a dumb blond :P we had some laughs, and she cursing her fake nails when she wanted to take out her contacts(makes it tricky), she told me the contacts were coloured to look cool in the sunlight. She told me about her job operating heavy machinery, and how she’d gotten sun burnt and fallen asleep on the train and missed her stop earlier. When the train arrived she finished the last of her cooler, narrowly missing a transit officer, and we chose some seats on the upper deck of the car, I sat with her and promised I’d make sure she didn’t miss her stop this time. So when we sat down she pulled out a second cooler and offered me the first sip for being so nice to her,… which I politely declined for what I feel should be obvious reasons, but that said I’m a prude. I drew this picture of her on the train while she was playing solitair on her laptop and retelling texts from her daughter. I asked her name just as she was getting off the train, I think part of me wanted her to ask mine too, but she never did.
I love meeting people in unlikely places like that, it was so nice to hear Charleen’s story, I think that sort of thing helps me keep my mind open to all the background stuff that’s going on in someone’s life and how important it is that we not judge ppl by their covers, the way most of us do when we’re not paying attention to our thoughts.
Here’s to the lonely helping the lost.