I’m standing on a packed train on the way home and a group of 3 people are standing out. They’re not making more noise, they’re not running amok, but they shine like beacons. I’m leaning in the doorway between carriages and working out why.

They’re showing emotion: curiosity, happiness unreserved. They’re talking, not about something prompted from a mini screen in front of them but from paper. They’re talking without judgement, I don’t even have I hear them, you can see that there are no judgements being passed. They’re showing affection to each other in glance and in touch. They’re being a little silly without care of others’ judgements. They’re sitting still and small and yet shine higher than anyone else.

The rest stare into space or into the cyber-land in the palm of their hands. Not another person shines. Their impassive expressionless faces cast a gentle yet sombre tone into the train carriage. The main colour is black, me included, and every bag collides home and work life crammed into leather, plastic or nylon.

The rest are commuters, the three a family of father, son and daughter.

Long may I remain childish and see reminders why.




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