How I met Mark

I was sitting on the s tog at about half past 12 waiting to depart from the central station. I sat there, reading through the politiken, tired from a long night of work, unknowing that this would be the first time I would have the pleasure of meeting with Mark.
It was late on a Monday night and you could see it reflected in the small number of commuters and the state of their tired and beaten appearances. I heard the door of the train car slide open. The “beep beep beep”, the screech and whine of metal bearings and hydraulic motors. I looked up to see a panhandler stumbling down the aisles, the familure question and look of distress, “Har du nogel småpenge? Småpenge?” I shake my head and shake him off. He grumbles, rambles away and my focus again turns to the paper in my lap. I turn the page and, in the exaggerated motion of unruffling the pages, notice that someone has sat across from me in the completely empty train car.
It makes me slightly uneasy; it looks like a young guy, early 20s, dressed in all black, slicked black hair tied back into a ponytail, facial hair shaved to outline his jaw and slightly dark features, at least darker then any Dane. A big guy, a bit more then 2 meters, with a build like a rugby player, but still I hadn’t notice him come in.
I glance slightly over my paper at him. He is looking out the window to his right, with the thin crack of a smile across his lips that seems to fill his whole expression. It appears as if he is looking at something of which he knows some great and humors secret about. I peek over my left shoulder to see what might be so entertaining, but there seems to be nothing of interest.
Confused, I look back toward my paper and in the passing from the window to what I was reading I catch his stare. In fact, what he was looking at was not outside the window, but in its reflection. I look back into the transparent image on the window. I can just make out his eyes, the glint of white through the crack of his smile, and that they are both looking directly at me.
He spoke through the ghostly reflection. “Hey, man. Do I make you nervous or something?”
It took me slightly by surprise. He spoke in English and so plainly, but the whole situation was odd, too out of the ordinary to not be scripted in some cosmic sense.
“No.” I answered back to the window.
“So why so anxious? Slap af.”
It must have looked strange, two guys sitting across from each other, talking to the window; talking through a piece of glass. I was afraid then, that if I looked away, to where this guy was supposed to be, there would be no one there, and that I would then have to deal with something that I was ill prepared for.
He sat back, and broke the stare, I guess in anticipation of an answer; I finally looked over towards him. He began to pick at his fingernails. They were painted black, and he was cleaning around them, where some polish had gotten onto his fingers.
“So?” he said from under the hood he had pulled around his head, still picking at his fingers.
“Huh? Excuse me?”
He let out a small chuckle.
“Are you really that uneasy? What is it that could make you so nervous?”
It seemed that he wasn’t a person preoccupied with pleasantries. At this point, I knew there was no reason to lie. Honestly, it was oddly comfortable, and either way, he probably would have been able to tell.
“Actually, yes, it was you.”
He was still looking down at his hands and I could not see much of his face, but what I could see was the grin growing underneath his hood.
“And why is that?”
His tone is even and comforting, and the manner in which he spoke seemed so matter-of-factly.
“Well, you caught me off guard. This whole car is empty except for the two of us and yet you decided to sit right across from me. Also, you do look a little intimidating and I did not see you come in or sit down. Honestly, I thought I was seeing things, and it wouldn’t be the first time.”
At this moment he perks up and looks me straight in the eyes. Now grinning ear to ear.
“Whose to say you aren’t.”

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