One busy morning at the railway station
He is charging down the platform, weaving through the crowd that has gathered to see loved ones off. His legs, unaccustomed to such frenzied aerobic activity, are doing their best to carry his bulk towards the train that is gradually pulling out of the station. One final burst and he's nearly there. He grabs hold of the cold metal handle of the train carriage, drops his suitcase inside and heaves his body up the steps. Pausing to catch his breath, he turns around to wave to the fast-receding throng of bye-sayers. It is nice to pretend that some of them were there for him. That some of them were crying into their handkerchieves, unable to look up and see him go. That some of them were wiping their eyes for the tears made it hard to see. That they wanted to keep waving and keep looking at him until he became a tiny speck in the distance. That some of them wanted to come running along with the moving train as far as the platform would allow, for his sake. That they kept repeating their goodbyes and their promises to keep in touch with him until it became a meaningless chant. He likes to think they played out the drama, all for his benefit.
For, wouldn't it be sad that he was going away and not one friend or relative or neighbour or neighbour's dog could come to see him off and tell him how much they were going to miss him? He turns around to look at others in the carriage. And smiles the smile of one who was given a fond farewell.