It's a new year and I am again reminded of how public transit and space can bring complete strangers in contact. I was riding the 'L' Brown Line home after dinner out this evening, when a young man got on and sat next to me. This was odd, considering the car was mostly empty with plenty of unoccupied seats throughout.
He looked over at me, tears in his eyes, and said, "Oh, I don't mean to be weird. I'm not hitting on you, I mean, I'm gay as hell, but I just...My dad died today."
I put away my iphone, and gave him my attention. He was on his way to a concert where he was singing and heard the news before he left the house. He went on about how it would be most hard on his mom, as his parents had been married for 32 years. He choked back tears and burst into song. The lyrics sang about flying away and finding hope. It was beautiful.
I had to get off at my stop soon, and before I left, I took his hands into mine and just said to hang on and sing tonight for his dad. That one day it will hurt less and a little less after that. He thanked me with a final squeeze of my hand.
I never got his name, or told him mine. I hope he's doing okay and that me just being there to listen helped his pain, even if only a little. I hope he sang his heart out.