He seemed normal.

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Posted 16 May 2008 in not so much, RAD

Anyone who rides public transit will be able to relate to what happened to me this morning.

I had to run to the train this morning because it was pulling up as I was just getting to the platform.

Now, everyone knows that you have about 7 nanoseconds to make a superficial judgment of the people you have options to sit next to.

My mental list –

-Do they look insane? (this includes people who talk to themselves, certain “street folk,” possible serial killer, etc.)
-Are they clean?
-Are they looking for someone to talk to?

And that’s about it. As long as I’m sitting next to someone who’s going to leave me alone and isn’t going to make me vomit, I’m okay.

So, I get on in a hurry, do a quick mental evaluation of my options and sit down to an older gentleman who seems pretty much harmless.

After a minute, I can smell stale cigarettes to the extent that it’s obvious that he’s a chain smoker. Fine. He’s not smoking – none of my business.

Then – it hits me…the overwhelming stench of like – uncleanliness. It’s a smell that’s rampant on many of the “street folk” I referenced earlier. I don’t know if I’ll go so far as to call it “pee pants” but it was BAD. At one point, I had to cough and I knew if I got any whiff of his stink I would gag-cough which is not only uncomfortable but embarrassing. And…I gag-coughed.

He looked normal! I don’t want to add “old people” to my list of people not to sit next to but if this happens again, I may have to.

Also – the crazy who gets on a couple stops before I get off was riding today. He cuts his own hair, wears sweaters always (regardless of the temperature) and kind of looks like Fire Marshall Bill, without the burns. His trademark move is bitching aloud about the train stopping at traffic lights in downtown. (The “train” is actually light rail, and in downtown it has to abide by traffic lights like the rest of the world.) Not too big of a deal. EVERY time the train stops for a red light he starts with the crabbies. “Fucking light rail. Who the fuck decided it needs traffic lights. Five fucking minutes.” EVERY TIME! It never fails. This morning was no different. He held back a little – I was anticipating it so much that when he finally started in on his tirade I nearly started laughing. It was a rough 4 minutes.

And…that is all.

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