written may 2008 in the netherlands
It often happens that I see the same person but in different places. They are usually women. I think this is because I generally pay more attention to women than to men.
Woman number one:
Last month I was in another city, standing outside of the central train station. I noticed a girl coming down the steps and then I watched her walk to the bus stop. She was very young, and had short black hair with a streak of blonde. She was wearing a black jacket that is made to look very worn in.
I saw her again a few weeks ago but this time here in Tilburg. She had the same jacket on. She was walking with her mother down one of small streets off of the main shopping street. She looked much younger than I had remembered.
Woman number two:
I was in Amsterdam for a few days about two months ago. I was at the Monday market and I saw a woman with bright red hair. She was sitting alone on a bench in the children’s park next to the market. She was in the sun and her red hair was just burning. So I said to her, “Your hair looks really beautiful, radiating in the sun like that.”
I saw her again later that day, but in a different neighbourhood. She was walking down the sidewalk, about to pass me. I attempted to make eye contact but she did not look up.
And then I saw her a third time at a cafe the next day. She was sitting outside drinking a coffee, alone.
Woman number three:
There is a woman here in Tilburg who rides a bicycle-built-for-two. But she is always riding it alone. I have seen her a few times, mainly in the same neighbourhood.
I wonder who the other person is that does not accompany her.
Woman number four:
Last week I rode my bike to Belgium. I followed a long red bicycle path and there was no one on it for a very long time. When I was about 5k away from crossing the border, I saw a woman walking on the bike path in the opposite direction that I was heading. She was walking away from Belgium. We made eye contact for a brief second as I rode past her. She looked awfully tired.
I got something to eat and then I walked around the town where I had ended up. About two hours had passed since I had seen the woman on the path, and there she was, walking down the street. Still looking tired as hell.