Friday, June 20, 2008

I ordered coffee with cream, no sugar. What I wound up drinking on the train was coffee with sugar, no cream. Oh well. Such is life.

The man who sat next to me today has been reading the same book for a while (he often sits next to me.) I have to give him a lot of credit because, well, that book has to be about 600 pages long and he's just trucking through it. I don't have the patience for things that take that much time. I can't commit to something that is 600 pages. I draw the line at 3 or 400. Sad but true.

Stache man was MIA today. I'm okay with that. I didn't have to be on guard for sly winking. (Really, subtle much?)

There was this ADORABLE elderly couple in front of me reading the newspaper and drinking their coffee. I watched them, and they communicated like they had spent their whole lives communicating with one another. Then the gentleman kindly answered all the lady's questions about the railroad as we pulled into the station. They pointed out architecture that was interesting and looked at maps and schedules like little kids in candy shops. It was so refreshing to see someone who was a visitor, not a commuter.

Now, I'll save my rant about public restrooms for another day but let me just say...if you absolutely MUST find a restroom for whatever reason (some people drink lots of coffee) might I suggest finding the one "less traveled by?" You'll thank me someday. Moving on.

I've come to believe that if a train station and the crosswalk are the commuter's natural habitat, Starbucks must be the main staple in the diet. Starbucks or anything caffeinated. Before I remembered that I can actually grab coffee BEFORE my train (causing a ten minute addition to my morning routine, but we sacrifice for the things we love) I found myself loathing any businessman who marched on the train with coffee in hand. "Youuuuu jjjjjjjeeeeeeeerk. You didn't bring me any?" (I wonder if I could convince Stache man to have an extra coffee for me on board? This could maybe work to my benefit. I mean, it goes against my moral standards...but hey. Free coffee is free coffee.)

My train passes a Starbucks every day. I want it to have a longer pause at the station so I can run across the street and get my iced Americano and get back on, but I don't think that would fly.

The commuter's coffee habit is fascinating to me. I see them board the train (95% have coffee or some coffee like beverage) and they look half dead. I see them exit the train, sans coffee cup looking alert and chipper. Just add coffee. And I have to wonder, which ones like it because they love coffee and have found a way of preparing it that they look forward to every morning like a child looks forward to their security blanket, and which ones drink it simply because they go through withdrawal without the caffeine.

Caffeine withdrawal is serious my friends. I've read up on it. It can cause headaches that can last for days and even depression and sluggishness. Don't give up your coffee. America needs you to function. And I need you to write about.

On second thought, I wonder what the commute would be like if everyone gave up their coffee. For that initial week to week and a half it would take for the caffeine dependency to work it's way out of our systems, it would be a mad zoo. At least now the lemmings have a sense of order, but without the staple of their breakfast routine (besides banana and juice man, who, by the way, must be getting up earlier or trying to skip breakfast because he's been one juice box and one piece of fruit short every morning...) they might become slightly disoriented.

I counted some things this morning.
1. Volleyball near the tracks
2. Ladies knitting in the same seat. Not Fruit Stand Lady. But two ladies I see every morning. One eats a dish of yogurt that I always mistake for cream cheese. I think every morning, "Ew. Who can stomach cream cheese with a spoon like that? Oh. It's yogurt."
3. Abandoned, homeless tennis balls by the tracks.
4. Starbucks and one Caribou Coffee on my two mile walk to work. Four within two miles.

True signs of where our priorities lie. They're always packed.

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