There he was again. Joseph braced. He was headed towards him, same train, same drunken trudging.
The poet was looking at him as he approached and grabbed the pole nearest Joseph dramatically. His eyes were wild. Joseph felt afraid.
The poet’s eyes calmed slightly as they focused on Joseph. He didn’t want to, but Joseph made eye contact with as much laissez-faire as he could muster given the circumstances.
“I wish you would stay away from her,” the poet said.
“Excuse me?” replied Joseph.
“You are dating a particular woman. I would prefer you not.”
“Have you been following me, you fucking creep?”
The poet laughed a deep laugh. “No,” he said convincingly, then continued down the train car into the next. Joseph was again sat in stunned silence.
He would have considered it just a weird encounter and the random words of any unstable street person if it weren’t for their previous meeting and the solid look the poet gave him this time. Somehow Joseph believed the poet did know who he was dating, and he was even more happy and self-satisfied to be headed to another date with her now. He buried his unease deep within and exited the train some minutes later with a smile on his face.