Stranger Log – Going Native

Current mood: Sandblasted

It’s Suzanne Rafidi’s Birthday, a national holiday…
Have a friendly conversation with a random stranger every day. It’s an apple a day for the city.


On the M train outbound. I’m sitting two seats away from a woman in black jeans and a black jacket. She has black hair to her shoulders and a black bag. We are both wearing headsets. We are both tapping our feet and bobbing our heads to our private music. Sometimes the tapping matches. She takes off her black headset and packs it away into her black bag.
‘Hi,’ I said.
‘What were you listening to?’
‘The Grosse Point Blank Soundtrack.’
We talk about music a bit. She is on her way to the gym at Stonestown.
‘The one by the tuxedo place?’ I ask.
‘Yeah, that one.’
‘When my sister got married, we got the tuxedos there.’
‘I’ve been going to that gym for 10 years. I went to Mercy [the all girl catholic school across the street from Stonestown]. I’m starting to wonder’ – and her eyes widened ‘when will I get tired of this neighborhood?’
We laughed. It sounded like she was getting tired of this neighborhood.
‘You’ll decide,’ I said.
The train glided up to the Stonestown platform. She got up to disappear back into the bitstream of nameless faces, each one entitled to dignity.
‘Have a good day,’ she said with a smile.
‘You, too,’ I replied.
So today I met another native of San Francisco. I love meeting native city dwellers because they know their home. They also fascinate me because they have an unfathomable ability to get tired of their city.


About Suhail Rafidi

Suhail Rafidi is a novelist and educator whose works explore the destiny of human values in a technological landscape. You can find him on Twitter, too, @shelldive.
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