Author: Peter Cherches

I was waiting for the Manhattan-bound Q train at the Seventh Avenue station, the one in Brooklyn. While I was waiting, I looked across the tracks at the Coney Island-bound platform. I saw my next-door neighbor.

I couldn’t really make out the expression on his face from that distance, but he appeared to be looking at me.

I wondered who noticed whom first. When I noticed him, he might already have noticed me. Or not.

I wondered where he was headed. Was it a short ride, to Ditmas Park or Midwood, or was he going all the way, to Brighton Beach or Coney Island?

I wondered if he wondered where I was heading. In my case there were many possibilities. I could have been waiting for a Q or a B, which fork off after Brooklyn, to Manhattan, or I could be transferring to any number of other lines at the next stop, Atlantic Avenue. While not endless, possibilities abounded.

The neighbor’s train arrived before mine. He boarded a Brighton Beach-bound B train.

A minute or two later a Manhattan-bound B train arrived. I was going to Union Square, so I still needed to wait for the Q.

To my surprise, the neighbor got off the Manhattan-bound B train, noticed me, nodded, and headed toward the stairs.

When the Q train arrived, I was already on it.