I tried shoving my frail $20 note into the machine that would soon spit out my concession train ticket. Once I did it spat the note out faster than I forced it in. I had to find change somewhere.
I walked up the steps to leave the station, I looked back and saw a familiar face, it was my old teacher from High School. I asked him if it was indeed this person I thought he could be. He was.
He looked very much the same, his hair receding further, clean shaven face, a fancy collared shirt, and a hip attitude. He looked better than I, messy hair, boozy breath, sleepless eyes.
“Do you still speak to the gang from high school?” this was his first and last question.
I don’t speak to them anymore. Not since I graduated, why do I need to keep my own garden open to old paths of regret and terrible nostalgia? I keep the gates to those paths closed and lost.
“I speak to some of them. Not most of them” I lied to him, just to make it seem as if I wasn’t the lost student I once was or may seem.
I quickly asked him, “How are you doing?” just to keep the conversation going.
“Well, D. I’ve got a new job right near my house. I start work late and come home early to my two newborn kids,” he smiled, “My life isn’t that exciting”.
I smiled, “No sir, you have the perfect life.”
We waved goodbye and I walked up the stairs seeking a place that would take my tattered money. I am certain he didn’t look back; I didn’t, though I wish I had looked back years ago.