It is Thursday, I needed to Write Something for You

As you know, I really don’t write enough here.  Part of that is my inspiration, which is limited.  I commute, that’s 2-3 hours every day seeing things that might inspire comment and snark.  I’m sure many of you are tired of my BART observations, but that is what you are getting today.  Much like Courtney Love said, you’ll live through this.

Today I was getting on the escalator when I realized the train I thought I’d missed was loading on the platform above.  It was a train that started at my station, empty and going my way.  What more is there to love?  I had thought I’d missed it, but it had been sitting there just waiting for me like a daytime hooker on a hot day.  As i rushed to move up the escalator, I quickly came upon two people, moving in tandem, there was no passing allowed apparently.  When the announcement was made that the train was boarding, they kicked it up a notch; from standing still to moving like banana slugs.  They must have thought this was Santa Cruz.

I probably should have bowled them over, but my mother taught me manners.  I tried to intimidate them into moving faster but they were oblivious to my need to be on that train.  In the old days, my station was the end of the line.  Every train was empty and I could have my pick of seats only constrained by the people in line ahead of me.  There would be 4-8 people in line and 40 seats beyond the door.  This train was like that.  Normally, I need to go to an end of the train, where the 5 of us in line have our pick of 8 seats.  As delightful as that sounds, when there are only a few seats, they often include the seats for the infirmed and seniors.  While I am AARP eligible, I prefer to not hold the seat when blue hair or pregnant woman gets on.   And they will.  That leaves fewer empty seats.  And inevitably all the empty seats are next to:

  • The gangster spread across both seats
  • The larger person who takes up more than half the seat
  • The woman doing her makeup, spread out across both seats, who will inevitably hit me 3 times doing her lashes or get make up on me
  • The person going to the airport whose bags prevent me from sitting comfortable
  • The idiot on the phone telling her friend what a dog her man is or the man having a 45 minute conversation with a stockbroker about how big his portfolio is.

Riding BART is a shared experience.  You often ride the train with many of the same people, as people arrive the same time each day.  We are all, it seems, creatures of habit.  One of my preferences is to not be touching the people I sit next to.  Odd right?  Other people have the habit of expanding their space.  I’m not sure if they are pushing boundaries or if they are oblivious. Either way I hate sitting next to them.

I recall several times when the rider sitting next to me moved their leg, then their arms.  They might have stretched.  Suddenly, they were growing like tribe of tribbles, eating into my space faster than locusts eating corn in farm country.  Before I knew it was against the window, my face pressing into the glass in some odd caricature of  an octopus looking for a way out.  I may as well have been spread for the police to pat me down for weapons or drugs.

I think you can understand why I prefer the empty trains. I can pick my seat, out of the sun, and use my evil eye superpower to keep the undesirables away.  Sadly, it turns out that I am the undesirable seatmate I’ve noticed lately that the seat next to me is one of the last to fill.  I don’t think it is my rugged good looks keeping people away.  I’m pretty sure it is my non-skinny frame and lecherous leer.  Seriously?  Do you really think I leer on the train?

I wind up waiting for the next train.  I’m first in line in the back of the first car.  The first and last cars have the fewest passengers because people hate walking to the end of the platform to ride the car only to have to walk back to leave the station at their destination.  If everyone rode a lark they wouldn’t go to the end because it takes to long.  There is always a reason.  When the train comes, I look to the left and see there is one seat in the middle of the car.  No Dice.  I don’t want to sit next to the obese woman talking on the phone.   I don’t want the single seat by the door.  Looking left I see an open seat in the last row, next to a tiny woman.  This whole process takes about 1 second.

I make my way there, fully committed to the process and my eye on the prize.  As I move into the seat, I see this woman is roughly 5’3″ and 95lbs soaking wet.  She is also asleep and has her right leg extended so that it takes up roughly 30% of my leg room.  ARGH.    Must be the circle of life.