notes from the train

I'm not commuting (yet) but that doesn't mean I'm not compelled to report on my observations from my post-interview train rides.
I may not be employed but I'm observant.

I made the train with seconds to spare. Please note: ballet flats are chic but not easy to run in. For some odd reason I felt compelled to thank the guy standing near the door - not that he held it for me or anything - I was just so thankful to board the 5:44 at 5:45:01 that I needed to thank SOMEONE.
His reply? I've been in the same boat. And then I was all: yeah, we commuters have to hang together, which I didn't actually SAY but I totally made my body language communicate.

You want to sit on the left side of the train, going home, so you can see the harbor at sunset. The view off the right side of the tracks is the marsh where they dump bodies. I haven't actually seen a body on the right but it sure looks like a good place to dump one. I realized this because I was forced to sit on the right for a while, next to a guy with post nasal drip. I don't need to go into further detail on him do I?
I was on an express train, which is delightfully fast, so I was able to change seats pretty quickly, which also afforded Mr. Nose with more room after the first stop. I then had three stops to contemplate my fellow passengers.
I was pretty sure a creepy guy, sitting six rows ahead of me and facing me, was staring at me but I was protected by my sunglasses. Fortunately, I was distracted by my new seat-mate.
I'm not sure I can do her justice, but I'm going to try.
She was tall, but not especially slim, and had a nest of Barbie-blond hair. Upon closer inspection (afforded to me via the sunglasses and my sudden feigned interest in a poster advertising the local television station) I clearly saw that her hair was sewn on. But that was only part of the overall issue. She was wearing what can best be described as a tiered nightgown. It was purple with spaghetti straps and an unfinished hem. And it was very short. But I'm not done. She was carrying a Barbie lunch box as a handbag. She looked to be between 55 and 65 years old and her shoes were red plastic spiked heels. It was all I could do to tear my eyes away from her and pay special attention to the landscape and the golf course out the window.
She was really the icing on my cake, this odd train passenger. I saw all sorts of interesting people on my trip into town.
I saw an awful lot of homeless people considering I only walked a few blocks and was led into my meeting by a woman in ratty jeans and a tee shirt (so much for my working wardrobe considerations). I saw far too much skin and far too many tattoos for temperatures in the 70's.
But I also saw, across the street from the station, a great looking woman, neither tall nor slim, in a floaty dress with lots of color. She had an adorable handbag and bright yellow toenails. I was feeling shy but brave and felt I needed to compliment her. I was standing near enough to say, quietly, whilst looking down: nice toes. And I was rewarded with a small giggle and a thank you.
In that little moment I was able to lose my interview jitters and tune out a lot of the less than pleasant things I saw.

So it goes.


Anonymous said…
I absolutely LOVE to do what you just described. Look at the great variety of people you can see on the train into town. Guess what colour are my nails right now? Bright yellow, actually lime. I could've attracted your attention too, maybe.
Suse said…
Lovely post.

Except for the birds nest sewn on hair. Ick.
Badger said…
Temperatures in the 70s?! You broke my heart just a little bit there. I think it MIGHT be dipping down into the 70s somewhere around 2 a.m. here, but I am not awake to enjoy it.

I hope we'll be getting a daily train report once you start working in the city. There are no commuter trains (yet) here, you know. I have to live vicariously.
jordi said…
I love it... and you will probably need to get something other than ballerinas no matter how cute. Barbie lunch box... I have a horror that at some point I will lose my mind and do something like that. I am forever punching whomever is with me and saying.. "If I ever do/wear/look like that I want you to shoot me, no questions asked, ok?"
Anonymous said…
I love that you complimented floaty dress, yellow-toed woman.
Pretty Things said…
I've spent a fair amount of time on NY subways, DC Metro, and Chicago commuter trains, and there's just no way to fall asleep with that much "local color" going on!
alice c said…
And the interview? I really hope that went well...
Anonymous said…
Does getting the job mean the same trip each day? That would be interesting!
Mary said…
What Alice and PP asked!!!
Anonymous said…
If this post is a sign of things to come, please hurry up and get to work.

Can't wait to read all about it.
Stephanie said…
This post made me want to be on a train to the city.

good stuff.
I adore 'geographical oddities', they hold a special place in my heart and remind me that we all may be created the same way but we all have different paths - and yet some are on NO path whatsoever!
palinode said…
That living barbie person was fascinating. I wonder what her apartment looks like?