You see a lot of the same faces when you ride the train regularly so it’s not surprising you start to talk to them after a while; There’s a couple of guys who get on at Redwood City that I’m familiar with and others at Hayward Park and Hillsdale. You get comfortable with it and it’s like magic, the way these things work out. On the other hand if there’s not some sort of impulse or disturbance to disrupt your status quo, there might never be a reason to start talking or get to know anyone better beyond a nodding acquaintance of passing by at the station and saying hello good morning howaaya.
Case in point: John at Burlingame, who I’d never have gone beyond nodding good morning as he passed by with a coffee cup in hand at Burlingame station if not for the pants. I passed by what looked like a handbag and a jacket lying on the ground while entering the station platform, but then after parking my bike temporarily and investigating further, found the wallet … and phone … and keys inside the pants. Now, I could see losing one of the three, but if there’s a good reason for taking your pants off in public when you’re sufficiently old, er, adult enough, I have yet to read about it. It felt a little like a magic trick – ta-da! – as I kept producing item after item from the pants of girth (seriously, waist size was I-didn’t know-they-made-them-that-big).
Anyhow I spoke briefly to this guy that I’d only nodded at before, gesturing to the pants and saying I didn’t know what to do with them, and he suggested calling the Burlingame police and volunteered to stay with them until they came to pick them up. We chatted for a bit about what we were doing (he’s retired, but after forty years on schedule, still gets up in the dark and goes for a walk now) and shook hands as you’re supposed to after introducing yourselves. I may not know the final resolution to the mystery of the pants, but perhaps it will be an easy one, and they’ll get in contact with their owner. On the other hand you don’t necessarily know what to do about lost-and-founds like this, though I suppose it’s nice that Burlingame will work with you on it.