Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I am in Appiano train station, around half past two. I take out the plastic containers which have my food in it: generally a salad. I take a sit on the house track, where just a few people wait for the trains, maybe a bunch of young boys whom I pretend to not notice while they look at me as a weirdo. The bench is frozen and it freeze my bum, so I stretch my coat under it or I cross my legs in a way to lay my buttocks on the feet; but it hurts after a while.
It is dim inside the station and the artificial light makes me feel like a Nighthawk. The feeling is so strong that I can’t help get a cigarette between my index and middle finger, despite the ban hanged.
And punctually, a man arrives. An old man. So slowly that it seems to slip the house track, on which it appears catching me always by surprise. He is bent over and he has a warming smile. Then he stops. He raises his shoulder just as much to direct his gaze on the billboard train. He keeps on smiling. His eyes on the train hours, he gropes in the green jacket pocket for his wrist watch. Once he has it in his hands, his eyes – which have never moved from the billboard – swing back and forth from the train hours to the white quadrant, at least 20 times. Calmly, his body perfectly still while his eyes keep on waving. And his mouth keeps on beaming.
I am almost sure that he does it every day, even when I am not around there oiling my lips with the salad dressing. It looks like a habit. But he could say the same about me maybe; maybe he goes there only those three days when I am there. But I don’t think that he had ever questioned about people around him, or ever noticed them: for him, there is him only, his smile, his still pose, the billboard, the watch, and the train to come.
Checking the hour of his train even if he knows perfectly at what time he has come there, and what time will the train arrive. Maybe he still believes that anything could happen: the train could miss its route, the watch could break, or he could wake up one hour later without noticing it. He still believes in serendipity, and he waits for it smiling.