I’ve always liked the idea of public transportation. As long as I can remember, until about my teens, I’d always been afraid of them. As a kid, I remembered my mom kidnapping me purely moral support somewhere, and we had to get on the tram. There was this really sick fellow sitting behind me, coughing and gurgling, I remembered thinking he looked like someone stuck a vacuum hose into his belly button and sucking all his air out. He looked like a scaly skin-wrapped skeleton with hands I could see through, and wore jean jacket with shoulder pads. (Now that I pictured him, he looked kind of like Phil Spector. I kept turning around to sneak a peak at the guy whenever his cough gurgled. Which was every time he coughed, and maybe he didn’t like it. Because in one of those coughs, something wet and sticky landed on my neck, and dripped down into my sweater. I was 5, and instead of preschool learning stupid shit like nap-time and how icky girls were, I developed a fear of germs, public transportation, and Phil Spector.
These days, I’ve learned to really appreciate how public transportation brings people together. The rich were minorities. so it was harder for them to make me feel bad about being poor, but then again, they could be logical commuters and going green with their two hundred-and-so dollar shoes. The poor were all over public transportation like stink on cheese, and everybody had to be somewhere. Regardless of their health too because to the poor, being sick costs more than the fare.
I preferred the train, myself, and tricked myself into loving it, and because I didn’t want to walk all four blocks to work like a sucker. The air in Los Angeles County is a few comparisons away from a coal mine or a Chinese toy factory, I decided to take my chances with Alice Cooper. I live in Pasadena, CA, birthplace of the 110, the first highway ever built, the Rose Bowl, Suicide Bridge, Old Town Pasadena, and the highest number of gym-related shower room posts on Craigslist for missed connections-m4m. I’d even take dates on the train. If they drove, I’d have them meet here and reference a Bright Eyes song, it seemed everyone knew the song so it was easier, and boom! We’d be on the train to Old Town. If I had to take the train to them because I knew she didn’t, I’d make it seem romantic as fuck. It’s not like I’m cheating, I actually haven’t had a chance to do those yet, because I usually fuck up by being aloof, or stare at their worst features for too long with women so I found it easier to just not even try. (for the record, the worst features are my favorite, because no one else I’m seeing has them.)
It was also an absolute blessing that I’ve never been enveloped in steeringwheel-punching rage when passing by the pricing signs at gas stations. Sometimes I don’t even notice the gas stations, however I do daydream sometimes about filling up my Dodge Neon and going home to find a woman posting a missed connection about me. Soon, soon.
By far, my favorite thing about the taking the train was when I made a new best or bestest best friend every week or so. I couldn’t do that when I had a car, or when I had my Vespa. I always carried a book to keep me company, and I’ve stolen tons of good books I haven’t had a chance to chat with yet. We’d have the most insightful chitchat and depending on who, it was like they’ve been waiting to say those things to me and only me. I was still kind of scared of other people on public transits, but I just pretend to get fidgety, antsy, looking over my shoulders, if I really didn’t want to be disturbed. I still hated touching things with my hands or bare skin, so I always carried a pen for the pressing of buttons. The other hand, I always kept on my friend.