Sunday, July 19, 2009

Missed trains and things of the like.


Strangers, friends, missed connections, empty soda bottles, heroin needles... you just never know what you're going to come across on public transportation. You see, I take the T into Boston for work everyday now. Each morning I hustle up about 80 steps in my high heels carrying my iced coffee and making a mad dash for the Alewife train that's without a doubt going to pull away as I approach the doors.

So I strut over to the benches on the platform, angry at myself for having to have listened to the last chorus of Kristina Debarge's song "Goodbye" in my car in the parking garage.

People reading newspapers, listening to their iPod, picking through trash, staring at you, pacing... do you ever wonder what these strangers have on their plate today? What they're thinking? Where they're from? If they're contemplating suicide? Thinking about their wedding that's coming up next weekend?

It's such a strange concept if you really think about it.

Two days ago, an African American couple sat next to me on the morning T with their son in his stroller. He must have been about 1 or 2 years old. They were a rather young couple and they were listening to rap music via their cell phone's speaker. I began to wonder... was this just another case of an unwanted pregnancy? Were they happy together? Married? Engaged? Or just two individuals hating their lives and how irresponsible they were?

Yesterday, an older woman boarded the crowded T I was on. With no seats left, the woman looked around... seemingly pissed off and bitter, as most old people are. A gentleman got up and offered his seat to her. Granny didn't even say "thank you!" In fact, she snarled at him. That really pissed me off.

One thing I've noticed about Asian people is they have really thick toenails. Yes, it's really gross that I noticed that. But hey, it happened. Why is this?

The other day, a Dorchester day camp field trip group boarded my train with their staff members. They had no manners and were falling on top of me the whole ride on the green line.

Then, there is that small occasion that you lock eyes with a complete (seemingly normal) stranger, give them that sort of polite smile, and look away.

That interaction is written about so so so many times on Craigslist under the "Missed Connections" sections. Yes, I'm a freak and I read them. Yes, there are many times (especially now being in Boston daily) that I think it could be about me. It's not hard to fit the criteria of a brunette girl riding the green line and getting off at a certain stop at a certain time of day.

Why must these posts be necessary? Why is it SO taboo to just strike up a conversation with a stranger? You could meet your new best friend joking about how the train cart that's attached to yours sounds like it's going to snap off and derail... but hey, I guess we'll never meet. Nice not knowing ya!

2 comments:

Dana's Brain said...

The reason is that the person you strike up a conversation with might also be a crazed sociopathic serial killer! God, I'm jaded.

Like the new look!

Laggin said...

Another reason is that sometimes imagining what might be is better than saying hello. The trick is in picking the right one with whom to chat.