Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Train people

There’s an Extremely Large woman with a paper fan sitting down below on the train.

She’s wearing a pale blue caftan. Her fan is pretty and flowery and matches her outfit.

She’s waving that fan as if her life depended on it. I’m thinking it does.
There’s a Hispanic woman sitting across from me talking loudly into her phone. Just now, she stopped talking and picked up her book about Italy.

Maybe she’s Italian after all.
To her right is a man who just opened a large can of Guinness beer that splattered all over his leg. He looks like an Angry Young Professional.
Next to him is a tiny, hairy Hispanic man reading the Wall Street Journal. He’s wearing a black Souza tequila t-shirt and dark sunglasses in spite of the rain. His pants are covered with paint.
Then there’s me: Pink t-shirt and an incredibly girly skirt; it’s a purple and white and pink flowery thing that blows up too high when the wind whips through the Loop. I have my headphones on but no music is playing so that I look like I'm not listening to the conversations going on around me.
The guy to my immediate left is some kind of marketing/art director dude on his mobile phone. At least he’s trying to talk quietly. But I don’t give him any credit for that – he’s in marketing, he should know better.

Right now he’s babbling about marking up a hard copy of something.

At the end of each phone call, he snaps his phone shut to let everyone know he’s Important. He’s on his sixth phone call.
The best seven words ever heard on a train: “My phone battery is about to die.”
Large Marge is reading a magazine article titled “Every Breath You Take.” It looks like a medical journal.

This woman, who couldn’t be more obviously unhealthy, is reading a journal about health. And I’m thinking that every breath she takes could be her last.
The hirsute Hispanic is finished with the newspaper and is cleaning his nails.
Apparently the large lady walks with a cane. The cane is blue and flowery like her fan.

I don’t know why I’m surprised her accessories are so well-coordinated with her outfit.

Seems like if she’s that hyper conscious about her appearance maybe she’d put down the sammich once in a while.
Here we are. Readers, talkers, sleepers.


The challenge is to feel connected with all these people.

I’ve said it before: All of us are heading in the same direction, but we couldn’t be more different.
Interesting: Of the people on the train today, all the ones I’ve chosen to describe here are still on as we make our last stop in Aurora.

I think for a minute that we’re in some twisted episode of the Twilight Zone where suddenly I’m a minor deity, choosing who gets to stay on and who gets off the train just by my thoughts.
These talkers, I wonder if they ever shut the fuck up.


Two of them have been on the phone since we left the station.

Mr. Snappy just ended another call.

I bet these are the people who don’t do well with being alone. They don’t do well with silence.
I realize the large fan lady might have some sort of gland problem. Maybe she eats one salad a day and still can’t lose weight.

Nah. It’s takes an assload of eatin’ to be that huge.
Then there’s this: “I really wish that bitch in the pink shirt would stop cracking her knuckles. It’s so loud and irritating. And I know she can’t hear it because she’s got her headphones on. How annoying.”
I am listening to: KT Tunstall – Universe and U
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Disconnected