Sunday, July 25, 2010


When you traveled as much as he did, you met all kinds of interesting people.

There are those who think they rule the world, they have followers, people who trip over their every word, people who wait for them to speak so that they can jump and try to please the boss, and they want to tell you about it.

There are those that ride silently, contemplating life or their position in the world possibly.

And there are those that ask questions, all kinds of questions, from “Do you have a family?”, to “Where do you live?”, to “What do you do for a living?”

He tells them he travels, he lives here, at least that is what it feels like, he is always here, travelling. And no, he does not have any family. He travels too much for a family.

Then there are those who just talk. They can ramble on about their families, their lost loved ones, their job, their pets, kids, toys, clothing. Hell, you name it, he had listened to someone talk about it.

Although, he had to say, he had never been hit on.

He did not talk much. He did not want to be the annoying one. He answered their questions, politely if he could, and he nodded at their tales, frowned at their misfortunes, and smiled when it was appropriate.

The ferry pulled up to the shore of the river Styx and he, Charon, extended his bony hand for the toll, the two obolus’ the old lady’s frail hand held.

This one looks like a talker, he thought.


J. A. Platt said...

I wasn't expecting the ferry man! I like the depiction of him as a thoughtful traveler.

alphabete said...

There's a teensy tense conflict between "travel" and "met" in the first sentence. That out of the way: wow I also wasn't expecting Charon. That is a pretty neat little tale and I was really thinking "Hmm is he a salesman? A serial killer? A census taker with chianti and fava beans?" Good ending, and I like how he is portrayed at the end as already knowing what the old lady's like.

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