Pass the Gin!

Describe a random encounter with a stranger that stuck out positively to you.

When I was an undergrad at Temple University, I would generally take the bus both ways to visit home. Oddly enough, someone else I met at my first college also transferred to the same program and at the same time as me. One weekend we were both home, and she suggested we go back to Philadelphia on the train.

Someone drove us to the station in Lancaster where we waited. And while waiting I had that random encounter. There was an African-American man leaning against the wall. I’d guess he was in his mid-30s, and he was very friendly—and the gin he had in a paper bag might have had something to do with that.

At some point in the conversation he offered the bottle to one of us; it might have been Anne, or me. Not being rude, we took it, and swigged from the bottle, and passed it on. We repeated this several times.

Now, in the age of Covid, AIDS, and a myriad of other diseases that will kill at a moment‘s notice (like finding out that someone’s political beliefs are the opposite of ours, or in particular this week stepping on someone’s property and getting shot), sharing a bottle with a stranger at a train station seems unthinkable. At the time, though, it seemed like a natural thing. We were all just people, waiting for a train, and sharing a moment of camaraderie in the moment.

Published by stephenschrum

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts; interested in virtual worlds, playwrighting, and filmmaking. Now creating a podcast called "Audio Chimera."

One thought on “Pass the Gin!

  1. Deep enough into reading your novel “Watchers of the Dawn” I started drinking Gin and Tonic while finishing your amazing steampunk novel.

    Liked by 1 person

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