I saw a girl crying on a train this morning.
When she sat down opposite me I immediately felt a chill go up my back. Something in the severity with which he hair was pulled back form her face and the way she looked into her i-pod screen like it was a lake told me something was the matter.
Of course the standard commuter reaction to any sign of emotion is to ignore it completely and look busy. So busy I looked; I attended my own MP3 player, I moved my paper, I checked my phone and I read a few pages of my book.
The sun shone quite brightly (bizarrely for this year I know) and I put my sunglasses on; they gave me an extra shield and when I looked up again I could see that where the girl had rubbed her eyes tears were rolling down her cheeks.
She stopped crying almost immediately and shuffled the songs on her i- pod. You feel so helpless when you see a stranger cry, you want to help but you don't know what's the matter and you don't know them at all. Of course they don't want to be crying in public or for you to see them. All I could do was to try and smile kindly but it didn't really feel like enough.