Commuter Chronicles #7: Friday on the Light Rail

Boss kicked me out early, light rail is the easiest option outta there.  Get to light rail station – shouldn’t be that crowded at this hour but students are one by one descending upon the platform. At least I think all these people are students.  At least half the people on the platform appear to be in their early twenties and wearing backpacks.

Some kid keeps doing flips and jumps or whatever you call them on his skateboard. BAM BOOM BAM is all I hear every 20 seconds as the bright red wheels of his wooden portable instant irritation device hit the concrete.  I wish I could make that sound using his skateboard against his head.  It’s wrong to think this but it makes me feel better for a minute.  Note to self, don’t get in the same light rail car as skateboard boy.

Across the street the valets at the Westin are scrambling.  Men driving SUVs are lining up to retrieve their gas guzzling monstrosities.  All drive off with cell phones glued to their ears.  Valets seem puzzled that they are this busy at this hour.

Meanwhile, my skin feels like it is slowly roasting under the pulsating heat.  It should not be this hot right now, but it is.  Idiot weather reporters keep cheerfully announcing that “we’re getting to the triple digits this week”.  I chose not to watch the local news for the rest of the week because of this.

At least there isn’t some crazy hobo ranting out here today.  That’s always a plus.  Skateboard boy is already creating enough noise to rattle my peace.  Just then Meth-lover Susie, looking gaunt with sunken eyes strolls up to the platform, twitching her head from side to side and playing with her dirty blond updo.

I shouldn’t judge, maybe she has a medical condition that causes her to look and act that way.  But I do, and still assume she is or has been under the influence of something.  She keeps tugging at the bottom of her updo.  Standing just a few feet away I can see the dirt under her fingernails. They match the dirt that has transformed her pink flip flops and pink capris into some type of dirt pink color.

She can’t stop messing with her hair.  Now she is frantically scratching her head.  Note to self , don’t sit near Meth-lover Susie.  More than likely she thinks she has bugs crawling all over her but she might actually have lice.  I’m suspicious of anyone who touches their head that much ever since observing the habits of my idiot ex co-worker.  He was always touching his hair and his kid caught lice two times last year.

The electronic voice booms “el tren, con dirección este, llegara en aproximadamente dos minutos.”  Sometimes the English announcement doesn’t play. It’s okay because I know this means my train is just down the street.  As it pulls up, I lose track of Skateboard Boy and Meth-lover Susie.  I just want to get a seat.  I step on, glance around.  Shoot, I should have went to the front half of the light rail car.  But now those seats are filling up.

I see empty seats in the middle.  Just then Meth-lover Susie comes running from the other end of the car.  She practically swoops in and sits in the seat before I can finish bending down to sit.  “Sorry” she mutters.  Yeah right, I say to myself.  I hope the bugs eat through her skull.

I spot another section of seats and to my surprise there is one seat left.  Right next to the door. Fine by me.  I’m nowhere near Meth-lover Susie or Skateboard Boy.  As the train pulls away, everyone is eerily quiet.  No one is chatting on a cell phone.  I think the heat deflated everyone’s penchant for conversation.  Fine by me.  At least I have a seat and a quiet ride home.



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