Riding BART…

…she appeared to be talking on her cell phone. Which I thought was a little unusual, her graying hair pulled into a knot atop her head, her black gloves, with just a little hole in the left ring finger speaking from another era. But, good on her, keeping up with technology.

Except she wasn’t. She was talking to someone, but that someone wasn’t there for anyone else to see. During the 30 minute ride she changed seats three times. She discussed a pamphlet from the church, she berated this person for a decision he or she had made, she talked about the changes made on the BART line.

I tried not to stare. It was difficult. At one point she sat directly in front of me. I watched her dark eyes dance with fury. I followed her gaze, focused on someone not there. Or were they? Not there, that is. In her eyes, was that person there? Or was she reliving a conversation from a previous time? Was the person answering? It certainly seemed so, as she reacted much more vehemently to some silences than to others.

I thought about my conversations with people. And how at some point during the conversation I usually touch them. A brush on the hand, a pat on the shoulder. Maybe it’s my own way of making sure they aren’t merely a figment of my imagination, that I’m not the crazy lady on the BART train arguing with herself.

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