Went to the dentist this morning, had to take the train. Public transportation is a great place to meet strange people, like drunk kids with machetes down their pants, fat black kids dressed strangely talking to you, then saying “Nothing,” when you ask them “Pardon?” and, of course, natives. The natives are the most likely to talk to you, and understandably most train stories involve natives.
I’ve had a few of these myself, meeting an ex heavyweight contender and his trainer (like Rocky and Micky), heard stories about drunken pow-wows at McMahon Stadium during Stampeders games, and so on. The point is, we all have our stories, and here is today’s for your reading enjoyment 🙂
At City Hall station a native guy gets on, asking one of his fellow passengers “Where is this train going?” The passenger points ‘south’ and they both get on. I am sitting on a three-person bench oriented in the direction of travel, facing another such bench. Across from me sits another gentleman, and the native guy sits down next to him asking “Where is this train going?”
“South, to Somerset,” the man replies. The native guy seems to be comforted and relaxes, resting his eyes. The smell gets to you right away, but usually after the conversation starts. I was surprised to notice the funk without a word having yet been said and anticipated a quiet ride.
But sure enough, two stations later the conversation begins:
Native (to gentleman sitting next to him): “How do you like it?”
Gentleman (slight pause): “Fine.”
Native: “You like it?”
Native: “Where you from?”
Native: “I used to be stationed there.”
Texan: “Oh yeah?”
Native: “Yeah, in Fort Hood. About five years ago.”
Texan: “How long?”
Native: “Twelve and a half years.
Native: “I used to drive an Abrams.”
Texan: “Oh wow. How did you end up here?”
Native: “I’m both.”
Texan: “Oh, you have dual citizenship?”
Another brief pause.
Native: “Ah [expletive], I was supposed to get on the south train.”
Texan: “This is the south train.”
Native: “Ah, ok.”
Native: “Where you from?”
Texan: “[Some town], a small town outside Houston.”
Yet another pause.
Native: “You know, George Bush is a real asshole.”
Texan (with a small chuckle): “Yeah, he’s not very smart.”
Native: “His dad, I used to serve under him.”
Texan: “Oh yeah, he’s not his father.”
Native: “Where do you live?”
Then Chinook station comes up and the Texan says “This is my station, have a nice day,” and that’s that. The native guy counts his change soon after, announcing “Dollar twenty-five.” Great. The next stop was my stop and that’s the story I got.