Next to me is a sweet girl who's name I do not know. She is my age. She is Swedish, I can tell when her phone rings and she answers with "Hej," followed by tangles of words I do not understand. She has draped her shoulders with a bright cobalt blue wool coat. She is reading Susan Sontag and I ask in English if she is a photographer. She says no, that she just finds her writing interesting. She looks out the window to take a picture with her phone, but it does not work. She turns it around and shows the exposed battery and insides of her disheveled iPhone 5. She takes a bite of broccoli from her salad and it's top bursts all over her arm like broccoli confetti. She giggles and looks over to see if I noticed. I did, but I am entranced in my editing.
There is a boy across from me. He is handsome, and wears black well-fitting pants and a white button up with an olive green sweater overtop. He looks over often, in between typing fervently on his laptop that sits on the tray table in front of him. He has the row to himself, so he slides over to the window seat and stares out the window for a bit before he falls asleep. He has a soft face - he shaved this morning. He looks as though he is sad or in love. Perhaps he is both.
There is an American at the back of the car. I can tell this because he is on a conference call with some creative team, critiquing photographs from a styled shoot. He is loud and has no regard for the sleepy 10am travelers that join him on this train. This is how I know he is American.
An hour in we stop at Norrköping. A man two seats up gets his coat ready and scarves his neck. He has dark brown hair that swooshes back onto his head effortlessly, and a 3-inch long beard of stick straight, lush facial hair. He looks serious yet tired, as though this is the beginning or end of his journey.
The light on this train is soft and lovely. The clouds, a softbox over the entire country of Sweden. I don't mind. I am drinking my train coffee (not the premium roast, but it'll do) and reading a journal I picked up in Stockholm on Fika. Swedes take time out of their day every single day to stop and have a cup of coffee and a snack and simply enjoy time with one another. I think we should do that more.
I am having a hard time interacting with people. I have found that the aloneness is becoming natural and I would rather sit by myself on the train than stay next to the man who seated himself in the window seat next to me. I know he speaks English (I saw him texting), and he seems kind, but my heart beckons to be alone in this season.
Sometimes joy isn't a scream. Sometimes it is a whisper, a silent swoop of wind carrying you along, assuring you that you are where you are supposed to be.