He's got sunglasses on, but they're the kind where you can still make out the eyes behind them. 55-60, Black American. I vaguely remember a jacket and cane, but more specifically remember a presence. He's at the front and we're talking about what, maybe the weather, maybe sports- it's the sound of the voices that matter more, the timbre of a friendly air being thrown back and forth, tossed into a friendly goodness. 6:40pm, at Harborview, and my buddy Greg gets on, thin, outgoing African American, also 55-60. They know each other. Greg stands at the front, joshing with his friend and me, and we're all of us talking and laughing and nodding, and laughing some more. It's the thrill of being accepted by a different generation- here I am, not even 30, this Asian youngster with glasses, but that doesn't matter- what we are is people, the three of us talking and laughing on an equal plane, aware and inclusive of each others' differences. Nobody trying to be like the others, or anything other than themselves. I look up in the mirror and I see a passenger sitting back there- a commuter in a suit- and he's smiling at us all, excited by this, of something new and good. You get the sense that this joyful equal plane, this warm envelope, was new to him. Greg, standing at the front of the aisle, busting out laughing with that smile he has. I see Greg looking at his friend, happy to see him. I always say to Greg, "Good to see ya!" And Greg always responds with, "Great to be seen!"
What is this blog? Check out the explanatory first post, or read the front-page Seattle Times writeup here!