Here’s a colorized video from more than twelve decades ago. It’s five minutes of film featuring the activities swirling around the impending departure of the R.M.S. Lucania.
I don’t expect you to watch it all unless you’re a fan of vintage luxury liners or an oddball like myself and also enthralled by these brief glimpses into the lives of people from long ago.
Even if you are neither, I’d like to call your attention to a gentleman standing next to the gangplank next to a young boy during the first minute of the video (0:05-0:59).
This isn’t even a minute of this man’s life we’re witnessing, but I can’t help but feel a sympathetic kinship. I think he’s there with the boy, and sometimes the boy is speaking to him, but there’s no way to be certain.
The man is obviously perturbed and anxious and scans around through the bustling crowd for someone. Who was it? The boy’s mother? A parent or other family member? Someone who promised the man money he was owed if he’d meet them before departure.
We’ll never know. We won’t even know if he does find that person because the film cuts to another shot, leaving this poor man waiting forever for a person who hasn’t arrived.