Thursday, October 16, 2008


I get on the 8:07 train from Ardsley each morning and here's what I want to say after I've hauled myself up those high steps to the train and face my fellow commuters:

Hello people! Why so saddy?

Everyone looks so down. Just a big bunch of depressives riding backwards into the city at the start of another new day. Some day I plan to step into the car and just start flinging little bright anti-depressants into the air! But I imagine no reaction, the shiny pills bouncing off them and falling on the dirty dirty floor.

The train starts moving pretty soon after I get on so I have to lurch down the aisle and scope out a seat. There's always an empty next to this one guy and I only take it occasionally so that he doesn't think I'm stalking him.

Oh look, here's someone who has a two-seater, all their stuff piled around, their feet up, headset on, pretending to be asleep. I feel a little sadistic thrill when I say, excuse me, may I sit here? Translation: party, over!

Just when they've finished pulling all their stuff onto their side I pretend to look further down and say "never mind!"

I could take the seat at the end where I'll be facing backwards, my knees hitting the man's across the aisle from me but instead I make a twosome in a three seater make room.

The response goes like this: they look up at me. I smile and slightly shake my head, acknowledging that I have just ruined something good, like coming across a kid about to take a big bit out of a candy bar they thought they had all to themselves. They sigh. Then, the crucial moment when they reveal that they are either generous or an asshole: a generous person will simply slide over, take the middle and let me have the aisle seat. An asshole will get up, move into the aisle so that I have take the middle and then sit down on the aisle. Me, I'm a welcoming slider and hope that I never become a greedy aisle hog. When I do say thank you to the aisle hog I make it sound a little like fuck you.

Once in the middle I take out my newspaper and oh my I have to fling those arms wide as I turn the page. "Sorry!" I say cheerfully. But we both know I am really saying fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou.

And we continue our happy ride backwards into the city on a bright and shiny new day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Swept onto the morning commute I now have a desire to spill a cup of joe on the aisle guy. Thanks for the great ride!