Every Stranger I Meet

Everyone is a possibility, probability

By Kat Avila
Published on LatinoLA: December 28, 2003

Every Stranger I Meet

"Shinjuku Station handles over 4 million passengers per day, and is Japan's busiest railway station."
- www.japan-guide.com

When I step onto the train
I wonder who I will meet that day.

Everyone is a possibility, probability.

Every stranger I make eye contact with,
get jostled against
becomes a novel thought,
another coded path of neurons
in the lodge of my memory.

Every person is a fresh start,
over and over,
so many chances to be new again,
and to learn and grow.

And every soul I ignore,
a trashed statistic,
for good or bad.

Every smartly dressed graying businessman,
every drawn-faced bum with his rectangle of newspaper,
every pig-tailed grade-schooler matter-of-factly holding her mother's hand,
every mini-skirted, tea-haired, heavily made-up teenaged girl,
every bandana-capped working class joe,
every oji-chan picking through the recyclable trash bins,
every salaryman cocooned in cigarette smoke
staring at his feet.

The sleeping commuter
whose head gently rests on my shoulder
understands that a sanctuary isn't always a place,
but sometimes another human being.

About Kat Avila:
Kat Avila (buscandocalifornia@yahoo.com) is in Shinjuku every week chasing down young, cute, virile possibilities. So far she hasn't caught any, but that's beside the point.

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