I accepted a job in the city, but it was far too expensive for me to live there. I chose an inexpensive suburb across the bay, and I commute on the ferry during the week. It is the longest half hour of my mornings and evenings. The locals are friendly enough, but they don’t seem to want to get to know new people. They have their own groups and cliques, and I’ve never managed to have a real conversation with any of them.
I missed a few days of work earlier this week, and I wasn’t looking forward to the lonely half hour of riding across the water this morning. An older man who never seems to look up from his newspaper suddenly nudged me and pointed at someone I hadn’t seen before. She was standing in the freezing wind, and she had the tell-tale Styrofoam coffee cup of the new commuter. The ferry owner sells horrible tasting coffee, and those of us who have been riding the ferry for a while have learned to bring our own coffee from home.
It was exciting to see a new person, and I sincerely hoped she would be outgoing. I wanted someone to talk to during the ride, and it took very little time to realize my hopes were mirrored by the new person. She was just coming in as I was getting up, and she immediately walked over to me. Motioning her to a solitary table, I joined her.
It took only a few minutes to realize we had plenty in common, and now I look forward to riding home on the ferry tonight. It will be so nice to have someone to chat with about the day, and it will keep the time from being an agony of silence as the water slides past.