Monday, December 24, 2012

Girls on a Train

I've been playing a game where every time I go for a run, I go a bit farther than the last run. This can't go on forever, of course, but the bike trail curves enough that I keep needing to know what's around the bend, the bridge, the stand of trees. When I got to 26 minutes out, I passed a trio of wholesome fresh-faced girls coming towards me. Something about themthe one holding a pair of mocassins and walking barefoot? the one holding a pair of blue Keds and starting to skipmade me think I had just me characters from a young adult novel, an impression not contradicted when the skipping, chirping girls noticed me. The conversation they had been having grew louder, turned outward, as they called to me, "Ohmigoodness! We were on a train! We were just on a TRAIN!" I overheard something about a photography project, confirmed by the camera with a thick strap around one girl's neck, and then I was past them.

I ran until I saw an overpass, the only place I could imagine tracks nearby, but I saw nothing, heard nothing, and looped back. As I came up on them a second time, they turned to the sound of my footprints. "We like your shirt!" they said, as though they'd been considering this jointly in the minutes we'd been apart.

"I like all of your shoes," I said, and they beamed, improved their posture, called back as I passed them, "Thank you!" and "I'm not wearing them!" and "Wow!"

"Ohmigoodness!" I heard them say, just before I was too far ahead to hear, "Why do we meet the nicest people?"

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