I was initially distracted by the young boy sitting next to me. He wriggled out of his jacket and dropped his stuffed animal on the ground. I picked it up for him and he clutched it tighter. He was cute and easy to find entertaining.
I don’t know when the man got on the train, but I looked up and I saw him crouched next to the mother of the young boy. He was in jeans, a button down shirt, and a sports coat. His head was in his hands and his shoulders slumped. I was concerned that he was feeling ill and was struggling to get the words to ask him if he would like my seat, when he pulled his phone out of his jacket and looked at it for a moment, before putting it back. He covered his face again, pressing into the heels of his hands.
He wasn’t physically sick, he was hurting. Immediately my heart ached and my brain tried to figure out how to ask him if he would like a hug. A few stops later, the boy and his mother got off the train and the man, with a little prompting from me, took the seat next to me. He leaned forward in his seat, holding the phone in his hands. He was staring at a picture of a woman. Heartbreak appeared to be the diagnosis. I closed my eyes and sent as much positive energy his way as I possibly could. May you be happy. I thought. May your burdens be lifted. May you find peace. May you be safe. I kept this up until he got off the train one stop before mine.