< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: Just dog tired... Train Dispatch #4

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Just dog tired... Train Dispatch #4

I've been pretty busy of late, and most of the other contributors here have been busy too. Busy and tired. Something about late winter here that makes you "just dog tired." On the train yesterday, it was quiet. A few bankers, businessmen, and other suits knocking off a little early, some moms in the city for a shopping spree, and a couple of MTA employees riding up for the shift change. Each person on board had something in common though, we all appeared wiped out. It was a quiet ride to say the least. Quiet, that is, until we stopped in Stamford and the 4pm crowd of teenagers piled in on their way home from school. It was like being in the rare books section of a university library one moment, and then the next moment, suddenly finding yourself at lunch in the cafeteria of a 3,000+ high-school. Insane!

I've never been able to figure this out. All these kids pile on in the afternoons, heading to Bridgeport from Stamford. They all apparently go to a public high school, but honestly since my kids are about 14 years from having to worry about such things, I just haven't looked into what it is all about. Needless to say, the contrast in passenger type is most amusing at this point.

After a few minutes, the teenagers settled down, the police officers walked through a couple of times (yeah, police officers! weird huh?) and suddenly part of the train was transformed into the back of the schoolbus. Teenage girls with tight jeans cozying up to teenage boys with jeans so baggy three or four full grown adult males could fit inside them. Some kissing, rubbing, whispering, altogether normal flirting though with the occassional "fuck no you damn ho bitch!" thrown in for good measure.

At one point, a group of teenagers started swearing loudly and clapping and laughing. They kept getting louder too. Finally, one businessman in what can only be termed a "loud" brown pin-stripped suit just lost it. He'd had enough. He was tired. They woke him up. He fell back asleep. They woke him up again. He started reading a book, and their banter was making that impossible. "Hey!" he yelled to get their attention, "why don't you kids shut the hell up, huh?" Silence.

I thought to myself at this point that the guy either had some serious cajones or he was a miserable wretich who thought he could boss around anyone younger and darker than him. "Who said that?" Asked a half-afro, half-latina girl with corn-rows, gold-hoop earrings, and clothes so tight they looked they were about to pop-off. Oh yeah, and she was about four foot two as well. "Who said that? I said!"

Finally the brown-suited businessman piped in: "I did." At this point I realized the guy was a miserable wretch. Someone with balls would have said: "I did, now shut up." But he didn't. He thought once they recognized that HE said it, they'd all be quiet and start doing their homework.

I sat up in my seat for the fireworks that were about to begin. "Oh you did? Well listen here Mr. I'm gonna disrespect everyone cause I make more money than them, didn't your mama ever teach you to ask for things nicely? What's wrong with you? You don't gotta be swearin' at us an shit, if you want us to quiet down, all you gots to do is ask. You hear me big man? You just ask?"

The businessman was now so red that he was in danger of igniting. His ears, the tips of them, actually seemed to be blue. What really did it to him wasn't what she said, but that she stood up, walked over to him, and started swaying her head from shoulder to shoulder as she spoke each syllable. He was finished. I think he might have even pissed himself.

"You go girl." said someone from the back. There was a small, but nevertheless genuine, applause. And the guy mumbled something like: "i'm just dog tired, i'm sorry." Yeah, they were being loud buddy, and they woke you up. But she's right, you got to ask first.