lundi 26 janvier 2009

Walk on by

These people I see on my way to work. Every day.

They are a part of my routine - when I'm on time. If I leave my house at 07h25, I will most likely see all of them.

In order, they are:

Myself in the hallway mirror. One final look to make sure there's no food on my chin.

The woman who runs the cafe downstairs, opening up and counting down to the day she sells the place. Not long now, she's had an offer, I hear.

The muslim taxi driver, praying on the pavement next to his cab. His prayer mat is beautiful - black, turquoise, orange.

The guy who loads and unloads the bags on the airport bus. He smiles at me, and says 'no airport today, monsieur?'

The man who looks exhausted as he opens up the post office. He looks even worse in the evening.

The old lady who begs in the subway leading to the RER station. She has her regulars that she gossips with. Always has her hair in an alice band.

The two friends who chat every morning at the coffee bar deep in the bowels of the métro station. Why meet there and not upstairs in the real world?

The woman who sits in my carriage reading romantic novels that she covers with wallpaper.

The wet, cold, miserable guy who gives out the free newspapers at Nanterre Préfecture.

The cheery lady at the boulangerie who sells the best pains au chocolat in the area, and who acts like she knows it.

The guy in the mailroom at AXA insurance. I walk past his window everyday. Why does he have a map of Greece on the wall next to his desk?

The students from the 'special school' stopping off at McDo for their breakfast.

The girls smoking outside the American Embassy stores next door.

Debbie. But by the time I see her, I'm sat at my desk, coffee in hand. She's the first person I speak to.

This is my world, my morning journey.

In a city of 10 million people, seeing the same faces over and over again is both comforting and strange.

We're all creatures of habit, every last one of us.

23 commentaires:

A Lewis a dit…

What a beautiful portrayal of your day...and the people in your world. I love that sort of thing that reminds us quickly of the normal, the routine, that we often take for granted. And the prayer rug sounds very pretty!

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

My morning waiting-for-the-metro routine features a lady who lives across from the platform coming out in her pink dressing gown, and putting the bikes outside for the children and her to ride to school. She always comes out from the garage and then enters the house again through the front door. There's a for sale sign on the house though, so I'm not sure how long this routine will still last.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Lewis, it's true, the normal and the routine has it's own certain specialness.

Marjolein, I like things like that - shame the house is up for sale. I bet there's a novel to be written about her existence...

Daryl a dit…

Its true, no matter where you live, if you are on a schedule, adhering to a routine you will see the same people every day/evening ... it is sort of comforting ...

softinthehead a dit…

I think that's lovely, it sounds like a small local community even through it is spread throughout the city on your journey. I was imagining everyone you described :0

aims a dit…

I walked to work with you this morning dear heart.

The prayer mat made me smile and then I wondered what an 'alice band' is.

I too wondered why meet in the bowels of the earth when you could have sunshine on your face - and Greece - why?

I passed on the chocolate pastries because I'm a celiac but I could smell them.

And I wanted to go to google earth to see what building you work in.

Yes dear heart - I walked to work with you today. Did you see me?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

D - it's true, and comforting in a groundhog day kind of way...

Softy, it does feel like I share that moment of our day with the others...

Aims, I knew SOMEONE was there!!

aims a dit…

Now tell me - what are those statues out front?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims, those aren't statues - those are bellboys!

aims a dit…

LOL - I meant in the park across the way...

btw - saw your comment over on Juliette's....and I laughed! Thought of you for some very odd reason while I read her post!

amy a dit…

I loved this! Why do I miss city life? Characters/scenes like the ones you described so vividly.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims, I don't know...will look out for them tomorrow...

Amy, it'd the best part of city life - that and the boyz, he he

Anthony a dit…

Now all you need to do is skip to work with a basket of flowers singing Kumbaya. Then it would really be a perfect world :-)

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=p3MiD_U4CHQ

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Anthony, you are too romantic for words. Such a lovely thought....and a song from my childhood...really!

tornwordo a dit…

That was nice. I'm always of two minds on the habit, on the one hand it's all cozy and comforting, and on the other it's staid and dead. I always take the same seat on the bus.

12ontheinside a dit…

I often see the same people on my commute to work. In the afternoons I read the free paper handed out at stations, and there's a section in it for reader's email or text messages. Lots of them are things like 'cute girl with red shirt on the 5:00 train west, you are gorgeous, wanna meet for coffee? From blue shirt sitting opposite you". I think I read that section wondering if there will ever be one to me.

The Hangar Queen a dit…

Le Sigh.

I am now officially missing daylight.

My routine is quite sad.

Jump in car
Deliberately steer to the lane with the nice toll collector.Sometimes he's the only human I speak with for days.
Arrive at office.
Then I'm 'processed' by armed guards and granted access to my dungeon.

Fuck...breaking it down like that is utterly depressing.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Torny, I have to agree - I'm not sure if it's lovely to see the same faces over again, or if it's a sign that things are too routine...

12oti - Oh, I'm with you...I'd also be looking out for any that could be for me!

HQ - that sounds worse than itreally is, I'm sure. At least Cork is something to look forward to....yay!

aims a dit…

Oh Darling - I'm reading a book about New Orleans and they are talking about Hotel Pontalba - I believe that is really close isn't it?

The park - it's where the gallows was a long time ago. Think I've got it nailed. If so...how truly lovely.

Victor a dit…

I used to admire this really good looking man I used to see standing at a bus stop every morning as I walked past on my way to work until one day he attacked me with an umbrella shouting that I should stop staring at him. I didn't realise my lust was so evident!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Victor, that's funny! And look at you and your 'evident lust'... nice ;-)

Louise a dit…

You attention to all this is remarkable. The way you chronicled it wonderful.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Louise, thanks dear - I live to serve.