When you fleetingly see someone crying in public, your imagination has to provide the context.
This girl looked like she was 17 or 18. She had just gotten off an STA bus that had parked at the northeast corner of Sprague and Post.
Her face was a mushed up mess of still-bubbling emotion. Some anger. Some hurt.
And maybe there was some feeling of being out of control because she had momentarily lost her ability to maintain the mask she usually shows the world.
But there was no mistaking the tears.
Maybe it was no big thing. Perhaps that kid has a meltdown every other day.
It would be pointless to guess about what triggered it.
Still, it was impossible not to wonder. And to wonder how many people are crying in downtown Spokane at any given time.
Things usually get better, of course. But as a stranger, you don't really get to see that.
By then, the faces are dry and the masks are back in place.