There are sounds of movement and an opening door and then eye contact and then I watch as you press the corners of your mouth together not like a smile but like the beginning of a forced smile –
like the beginning of the forced smile that is a mix of annoyance and this-isn’t-my-choosing on the face of a stranger trying to scoot by a second stranger in the too-narrow space between rows of seats on the way to an airplane restroom in the air somewhere above and between home and another business trip.
I wonder is this is personal, and about the expression on my own face, which I think is one of perplexity or contemplation or perhaps both or neither, but changing now to respond to:
an actual smile. No longer reacting, but recognizing, feeling something more familiar.