Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday. It’s Monday again. Another morning avoiding the gaze of Tom Selleck’s mustache (it has a personality of it’s own, I’m sure.) Now, I’m prone to exaggeration (NO! Really?) but my brother caught the same train as I did this morning, and he even agreed, Stache man stares. Weird. I’m not exaggerating this one.

I wrote a couple of things down this morning that I wanted to discuss. Well, more than a couple. There were several things that occurred today that I thought, “I should probably write a commentary on these.”

First, smoking at 6am seems to not bother the stomachs of really anyone. Which surprises me. I know that you develop a tolerance to it and a dependence on it, but for some reason, it still always shocks me when I see cigarettes so early. I’m sure some feel the same way about my habitual coffee cup.

Alongside the tracks between stops, there was a railroad tie sticking straight up and down in the dirt. On top of the tie was a mannequin head, like those from cosmetology school. Anyone remember Sid, the creepster kid from Toy Story? He buzzed all the Barbie heads and stuff? Well this head had hair that had been cut too short. Vlad the Cosmetic Impaler? Probably not. But you get the picture.

The train smelled like shaving cream. I figured out why when a gentleman stepped off the train and had a little shaving cream still on his face. It was kind of adorable.

A lady got on the train and, since this was about 4 stops from Chicago, the train was reaching seating capacity. She said to the man in front of me, “May I sit here?” To which he replied, “No problem.” She continued on, as if to justify her situation (like no one understands the need to fill up every seating space) “It’s just that there are no more seats.” To which the man replied, “No problem.” She followed his “No problem” with “Yep.”

Huh? I was so confused. No where in any corner of my mind did that conversation make any sense to me. She felt bad for sitting next to a stranger—but we all sit next to strangers.

That’s really part of the beauty of commuting. Everyone is a stranger, and yet, there’s some twisted phenomenon of familiarity. You recognize people’s faces, habits, tendencies, patterns. Everyone has them. You begin to notice who leads and who follows, who walks quickly and who takes there time. You begin to notice who is okay to sit by and who should be avoided. It’s fascinating to me.

Anyway. Moving on down the list. The lady who did not want to sit next to the man in front of me may have had good reason. When he left, he picked up a red and white cooler. I decided (without due cause or reason) that it was a cooler with kidneys on ice. Don’t ask me why I thought of that, but it makes for a better story than the fact it was the bologna sandwich and corn chips his wife packed for him the night before. Kidneys and bologna are kind of close…

My last rant for the morning is this: I have an iPod mini. Kind of old school, I know, but it serves its purpose. Its purpose is to play music, and it does. I’ve only had minor trouble with the battery and for $8.00 it can be replaced and work good as new. One day I’ll get around to that. Anyhow. It really frustrates me, not that people have nicer iPods than I do, that’s not the case at all. What bothers me is when people try to show off their new fancy million dollar (slight exaggeration) gadgets when they see my trusty flaming pink mini. Someone sat by me last week on the way home and while he pulled out his nice new iPod touch, eyed my pink mini with a look of superiority. For about twenty minutes. That’s a little excessive. I don’t care that you can watch movies on your new iPod, I’m stuck in the year 2004 and I’m okay with that. I get motion sick when I watch movies on the train anyway. So there, Mr. Apple Fancypants.

Last, I looked to my right as I turned to face the window, and saw a squashed fly. This was at 6:48 am. I continued to stare at it the rest of the ride. Yay for dead insects.

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