Now that I’ve left graduate school and am just a regular old working stiff, I am now a commuter again. It’s a strange life. I spend about a half hour five mornings a week with many of the same people. We wait together at the trolley and subway stops. We sit and stand together as the trolley lurches through the streets, and the subway careens through its tunnels. Sometimes I see a person I commute with in an unexpected place. They’re boarding the train at a different place on the weekend, say, or buying coffee in a local cafe. Whenever this happens I have a momentary impulse to say ‘hello,’ but stop myself at just a quick look of surprised, almost embarrassed, recognition. They usually return the same sort of look, and we both go on our ways–connected only by a brief coincidence in our schedules.