Scenes From A Train

I haven’t been on the train in quite a while and what a day to pick. The temps are in the 90s which means a lot of skin that you might not want to see (girl, seriously, a tank top) and the wonderful smell of heat and sweat.

Southern Californians are a weird bunch. When I first moved here it was in October and in the 80s. And people were wearing fleece?! Of course I was fresh from Chicago so I wore shorts for the first six months. But here, just on the walk to the train I saw the gamut of folks wearing shorts and T-shirts ( and some looked real good ) to others wearing sweaters and jean jackets. It’s 93 degrees according to my iPhone. But often here it’s about fashion, it is after all LA.

But no, as I look around me this is not fashion. Is it laziness? Because after all it’s only 90 for a few hours on a Spring day like today, so did they start out early and won’t return to late, so they dressed for the spectrum of temperature? Are they hiding things under those coats, or maybe they just need the pockets to carry all manner of essential articles? No, most have backpacks and purses too.

So what is it? If you’re born here or have lived here for 20 years, is your blood so thin that 90 degrees is not hot? No one looks homeless to substantiate that being all they own on their backs. There must be something deeper.

Wait, I got it! They’re protesting global warming. They will not accept 90 degrees while it’s snowing in Minnesota. This is a movement, a stand. These brave souls are sacrificing their comfort to show their feelings, to show that they’ve had it. That corporate America and the companies that pollute the air have gone too far. And it will not be tolerated.

Oh wait. The guy with the most clothes on just pulled a burrito out of his pocket, ate it and threw the wrapper on the floor. My theory is kaput.

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Scenes from a Train 1-26-13

An elderly black* man sitting in front of me has a very suspicious looking case that’s on wheels. It’s old and beat up, the kind that you have to dial in a three digit combination on each side before the clasp will be released. He’s got it on its own seat which can indicate its value or danger or just that he’s a rude a$$hole who is taking a seat that will be needed as the train makes its way downtown. There are two more suspicious things- he’s got the arm of the case extended as if he might have to make a fast getaway. The other is the back of his baseball cap reads Black Barons. Is he out to eliminate Snoopy’s alter ego The Red Baron? Is he striking after the actor who voiced Charlie Brown is all over the news for doing weird, stupid things? Is there an anti-Peanut movement afoot? Is poor Linus’ blanket in dire jeopardy of getting in the wrong hands? I’ll keep a close watch on him.

Four seats ahead of me a chubby Asian woman eats what looks like mainly rice out of a plastic container. It looks like leftovers but the plastic doesn’t look like it came from a restaurant. So maybe her mother made it for her and used something they’d saved. That may be why she’s wearing sunglasses, so that she can’t see what her mom put in there. I might suggest more veggies and not just carbs.

Across the aisle a guy in his late 20s, early 30s wears a long leather jacket, a black winter hat pulled over his eyes and dark shades. He stares straight ahead or looks out the window. He could be dangerous but my money is on him being a total nerd trying to look bada$$. I went through a phase of wearing all black, beyond just for magic shows, and wanting to seem all mysterious. Probably looked as ridiculous as he does-our minds are the mystery.

This other young guy across the aisle wearing a hoodie who has been allowing his skateboard to take up a seat just had a woman with her child sit next to him. He didn’t move the skateboard. I’m going to have to continue this later because I have to go smack some sense into him.

*i have been filling out job applications online all week and the only choice is white, not Caucasian, so are we back to just a color thing? I’m so confused. I’ve tried to be courteous and say African American but then you ride on public transportation and using “black” seems polite.

Water Cooler Chat

It’s that time of the week; I submit the random water cooler talk  out to the Internet since I work alone.

Why are some people so adamant about not eating red meat but they’ll still eat the white ones? Isn’t that racist?
Is there an age range range for Hello Kitty, you know like they put on games? I’m not so concerned with the minimum as I am the maximum, because I saw a young woman in her 20s with the feline tattooed on her upper back and I’m just wondering when that becomes really ridiculous.
What happens when they run out of super heroes to make movies out of?
I have a thought that they should string wires between the palm trees in Southern California and then we could throw giant sheets over them and make tents like when we were kids. Mainly because there’s so little shade here.
Why is the average age of the parent riding the Blue Line in LA seventeen?  Did they stop teaching Sex Ed in high school?
I ride the train for fairly long commutes and my butt hurts. If I had a fat butt would that really be like a cushion or would it still hurt?
Just saw an ad for Chicken Parmesan pizza. Note to Papa John’s: those are two different Italian dishes. Since you’re obviously not Italian, perhaps you’d like to give that garlic bread with the ranch dressing a try again.
Do the horses in the equestrian events get a gold medal too? Seems they’re doing most of the work.
My grandmother told me I’d never amount to anything. I’m a starving artist. Ha.
I thought my second grade teacher was hot. She’d be about 80 now. I wonder if I’d feel the same?

Scenes From A Train Part 2

I’m writing this underground on the second train of today’s commute so it will post at North Hollywood. No seats so I’m standing. I feel guilty. A tiny Hispanic woman kept pushing at my bag and me as she tried to get by everyone to get down the escalator and onto the train to a job she probably hates. Twice I asked her, nicely, to please stop pushing. Finally I elbowed her over the side. I’m pretty sure she was ok: she landed on her over-sized bag and her eyes were open.

There’s a woman staring at me. At least I think she’s staring at me, she’s wearing sunglasses so I can’t see her eyes. I’m pretty sure she’s staring at me because I have no tattoos. She’s covered in them. There’s one across her chest and I want to read what it says but I don’t want her to think I’m looking at her boobs. Wait a sec, she got it there. She had to have lay there for hours while the tattoo guy did it. Maybe it was her boyfriend so it was ok. Maybe it says “howdy” because she has friendly boobs? Maybe it says “I’m up here” with an arrow pointing to her eyes so she can catch guys with her feminist ways? I better not chance it, I figure women that can withstand the pain of getting all those tats likes to inflict it. I’ll look the other way.

The Red Line heads to Hollywood so there’s always interesting characters. There’s Purple Guy I see a lot: completely dressed in purple including the large feather in his fedora. He’s either really a pimp or played one on a 70s cop show and the never got another gig and these are the only clothes he owns. Today there’s a drag queen, African-American, thin with vey taut muscles wearing a silver lame (please put the accent in, I don’t know how to find it on the iPhone) dress that shows off his/her legs. How do you say it? I would assume he’d rather be called she, I mean she would rather not be called he. You get it. I wish the Hispanic woman from the Blue line had gotten on because I think she should give silver girl her jeweled iPhone, it would look really good with the dress. And her copy of Ebony! And I bet the transvestite would have hair tips for the other woman.

Oh crap I have to fart. Oh man, this is embarrassing. I can feel it’s not going to be silent. Or odor free. Oh jeez and there’s a stop and a half. What do I do? Think about baseball. Oh no that’s for sex. What if I don’t let it out? I think farts are funny so I tend to let them loose and then laugh. Does it build up until it comes out my mouth? Or nose? Eeekkks. I’m saved. North Hollywood. More later.

Scenes From A Train

I sit on the Blue Line riding towards downtown. In front of me a woman that smells nice is texting on a fake jewel covered phone. Does she think that looks fancy cause I just think it looks gaudy? She’s not a teenager, that I understand and she’s dressed rather lovely. She’s a light skinned Hispanic woman and she’s reading a copy of Ebony magazine. Is her boyfriend African-American or does she just think
Black people are cooler like I do?

The woman beside me is frantically playing solitaire on her phone. Who wakes up and has to play solitaire? I wonder about her gambling problem. She looks very nice, she’s older: gray hair and no wedding ring. I bet she has cats. Lots of them. They sit on her shoulder and her lap while she plays solitaire with real cards. That’s why she plays solitaire on the train! She misses her cats and this quells her depression.

18 out of 30 people on the train are wearing sunglasses. How many are hiding hangovers vs. how many are just tired and want to go back to sleep? The dude with the chin on his chest; will he wake up in time for his stop?

A woman five seats behind me is talking with a gravely voice on her cel phone. Can she not hear very well and not know she’s talking that loud or does she want everyone to know about how her daughter never calls?

Half the people in my immediate perimeter are on cell phones. Are they blogging about me? Yeah well that sweater is not a good color on you lady and seriously dude, a shower would have been thoughtful. Oh crap the woman in the sweater just moved to the seat formerly occupied by unshaven man. She smiled. She wasn’t giving me a dirty look, the sun was in her eyes. I’m sorry about the sweater thing but really you have a nice smile so maybe a brighter green? Oh oh, we just stopped at Slauson station and a mean looking woman just sat down next to her. She’s wearing a Hello Kitty or some Japanese character t-shirt and she’s got to be late 30s, early 40s. Maybe she’s just a smoker. Only the last two fingers of her left hand have nail polish on them. Black. Is that a gang thing? I’m worried about pukey green sweater girl.

What? I have to exit the train? Why???? I’ve been saying this out loud?