This stranger didn't exactly smile back. They don't always. He did nod, and was not unfriendly. But after he passed, I found I could not stop smiling. My face was stuck in a broad, ear to ear, expression of joy.
The really odd thing about it is that today has not been the best of days. I really didn't get enough sleep last night. Class was not particularly exciting. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great. I don't have anything to look forward to tonight except work. In my state of fatigue from not sleeping last night, I'm not really looking forward to work. There is nothing really spectacular in my life that has happened lately.
I was smiling for no reason. When I realized I had no reason to smile, that just made me smile more. It made my teeth cold. I almost laughed. I was experiencing pure joy just to the sake of joy. It was amazing.
As I walked along, I noticed that I felt a bit lighter. My steps were more lively. The sun felt warmer and the air felt fresher. Just the simple contraction of a few facial muscles had such a profound effect on my mood and my day.
I hope when I get old, the most prominent lines on my face are those caused by smiling.