Flash Fiction: Do you think they know about us?

Source: City Street Graphic

by LJ Frank

The avenues were crowded. People and vehicles seeking space.  The people on the sidewalks spilled over into the street, probably going to and from someplace, the meaning of which known only to them.

“Hello.” I saw her walking towards me.

“Hey you. It’s been awhile. Didn’t think we’d meet again,” she winked.

“It’s good to see you.”

“Where are you headed?” She asked me as we walked the city’s streets during the early evening.

“The train station.”

“Mind if I join you?”

“Not at all.” I said.

“So what are your thoughts?”

“About?” I asked.

“Closure.” She said.

“Does closure really exist except…in the human mind or heart?”

“Isn’t that where things begin and end?”

“What is it about the human condition that we’ve come to expect? Or, perhaps we wish for a specific moment or event we can identify that signals we can lay something to rest? Why is that? I mean, as if there was a concrete answer to assuage our aloneness in life or is it also a desire to allow for the acknowledgement of the limitations of our mutual existence?”

“Mmm…and to give added meaning to the moments we experienced with someone we have feelings for?”

“I nodded, “that’s why I walk. To give me energy to reflect, laugh, and thoughtfully, if not sensually, engage in this moment I have, with the fondness of an undisclosed meaning about a particular memory. Maybe, the reason it happened evolves into…that, it matters not. The fact that it did happen is what matters.”

“So you think in some respects there is no ultimate closure this side of death for a person asking the question?”

“That sounds existential and tragic. We have this moment of struggle, hurt, even unbearable pain and if we’re lucky, it’s checkered with the profound and ecstatic or love transformed into a companionship.  So all we can do is smile as we walk on this pavement and find some humor and stimulation in unexpected places with others on a journey of their own.”

“We’re approaching the train station now.”

“I know,” and taking a deep breath I uttered, “people change. They evolve or not evolve. They hold on to whatever has meaning for them in the moment.”

“You know, my hope sometimes fades like a train speeding away from me in the distance until I can no longer see or envision it, all the while I’m holding a train ticket that will take me in a different direction. It’s like I want to get a ticket transfer to start fresh, rather than return to the place I’m used to and have a comfort in, even when its distressful and so depressing sprinkled only with a few minutes or hours of joy. So I occasionally ask…why me and now and in this or that place?”

“I don’t have a good answer. I can only try to have reasonable  questions.”

“Questions like, do you think they know about us?’

I looked over and gazed into her eyes. “Facial Recognition Technology?”

She nodded and we grasped each other’s hands, lips touching, we then headed to our separate trains, stopping some distance away…we simultaneously turned, looked over our shoulders, nodded, smiled and bit our lower lips.