Friday, September 21, 2007

More Train Life

I’m still taking the train out to Gresham. I leave my bike at the transit center, so that when I’m on the train I can engross in my book without having to worry about some kook stealing it. [Can “engross” be an intransitive verb? I’m not sure…]
I try to exude a “don’t bug me” demeanor, but it doesn’t always work. This morning, for instance, some guy wants to talk to me. No, I take that back – he wants to talk, period.

He sits in the seat in front of me and turns sideways. Bad sign already. He draws me in by commenting about someone trying to use the emergency communication button. I should have ignored him from the start, but the fact was that I've actually been interested in the emergency driver communication button for some time. I began to notice these buttons a few weeks ago, and have been wondering what kind of scenarios would warrant using it. Can you use it if you forgot to get off in time, or do you have to have your leg stuck in the door? I’m still not sure. This morning was no help, since whoever pushed it would not step forward when the driver’s “how may I help you” voice came through the little speaker.

As for me, it was too late – I had unwittingly signed up to be a listening post for the duration of the ride.

New Rule: If someone plunks themselves down directly in front of you and they’re wearing an Eskimo hood and polar expedition sunglasses on a beautiful 60 degree fall day, do not exchange even the most token comment. [Duh.]

I have exactly a half hour on the train which I reserve solely for studying Spanish, and I wasn’t about to let Admiral Perry take that away from me. So I continued studying. And he kept talking, alternating with mumbling and rambling. As it turned out, it made no difference whether I responded or not. So I kept on studying, he kept on talking, and we were both reasonably happy.


At 6:55 AM, Blogger Marti said...

Kate - my oldest daughter (Amy, 31) works at Barnes & Noble in Duluth. She has lots of pointers on odd---VERY odd----people for you.I think this will get you to her journal.

When I was traveling alone in Europe and was bugged by guys on trains & buses, I found that a little dribble of spittle out of the corner of your mouth works wonders. It is a skill that needs to be perfected, though.



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