The Joy of Commuting


Do you know what happens when it rains all day and then the temperature suddenly drops by twenty degrees and stays there overnight?

That’s right. Locks freeze.

Frozen solid locks. They make it rather difficult to get into the car. For me, not so much a problem. I could get on the bus. For Scruffy… well, still not so much a problem. He too, could get on a bus. But he hates the bus and refuses to ride it. But I digress. This morning we both happened to be leaving at the same time, a rare occurrance. He offered a ride to the train station, I accepted. We went down to the car only to discover that the aforemention locks were the aforementioned frozen and we were unable to enter the vehicle. Scruffy was not amused. I offered, “You can probably get lock de-icer at the Crafty Beaver (a five minute walk from our apartment).” This was met with a glare.

This is when inspiration struck.

“Pop the trunk,” I said. “I’ll climb in through the back and unlock the doors from inside.” Which is exactly what I did. Thank goodness for a hatchback. He had to climb in through the passenger side door because the driver side door wouldn’t open. And then we were off. Vegas, baby.

So I arrived at Howard, after having taken the Skokie Swift. People seemed to be in a hurry to get to the front of the platform, so I did my best to stay out of people’s way, only to realize the reason that no fewer than three people felt it necessary to run into me–which, frankly, scares the living hell out of me. I have no desire to come to an end by being knocked off a platform and being electrocuted–was because the Purple Line train, the one I wanted to be on, was ahead of the train I’d just gotten off of. So I ran for it and got on. There were a couple of available seats and so I wanted to sit down. There was a (and I use this term very, very, lightly) gentleman sitting with his briefcase on the seat next to him. “Excuse me, sir,” I said politely, “may I please sit here?” He gave me a withering look and sighed because moving his briefcase absolutely inconvenienced him. Nevermind that the train was crowded and his briefcase was taking up valuable real estate. He was just so put out that he had to move it. I rolled my eyes as I sat down. Once I sat, he said, “Helen!? Do you want to sit down?” to some haus-frau he apparently knew who had gotten on the train right after I did and who was standing across the aisle. “Oh, no, no thank you. I’m fine,” she replied. “No, I insist,” he said as he was standing up, “my mother wouldn’t think I was a very good boy if I let you stand.” He then started to walk away from the seat so that Helen could sit down. In doing so he kneed me in the side of the knee. Really, REALLY hard. He didn’t even acknowledge it.

The train rolled on, and he gave me dirty looks from time to time. I don’t know why. Maybe I was supposed to offer my seat up to him so that he could press his thigh against Helen’s and engage in a fantansy of what it would be like to bend her over his desk and have his way with her. Me? I was just minding my business, knitting and wondering why this guy was such a dick. Was I not a woman, same as Helen? Was I not just as deserving of the courtesy of a seat on a crowded train? Was I somehow less important than the briefcase that was occupying the seat just moments before?

Just north of Belmont Helen said, “Richard, are you sure you don’t want to sit?” He flashed a ‘no, you silly thing, I’m a man, and men offer up their seats to pretty women such as yourself’ grin and said, “No, no. I’m fine. I do this all the time,” as if he were to be admired for his selflessness.

Me? I rolled my eyes and thought, “Dick by name, dick by nature,” and ignored him for the rest of my commute.


8 responses »

  1. Schecki – I’m so glad to see you posting more these days! I love reading your accounts of your odd little travels through this odd little life.

    You rawk, dear.

  2. I’d say the Dick was shocked into bad manners by your beauty, but it’s probably just that he was a Dick.

    I, too, am glad to see you posting more!

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