|Photo courtesy of www.MBTA.com|
Sitting on the Orange line train at 7:30am, I realized I had forgotten my normal space-out vehicle. My mp3 player, full of new audio books, and new music was sitting alone on my entryway table, where I had left it one night ago. Instead, I listened to the sounds of the morning commute: The scripted, tedious announcements of the driver, the beeps and bongs of the doors closing, the hushed and not so hushed conversations of the people around me. Most mornings I put on my mp3 and close my eyes for the 30 minute jam-packed ride into Boston. But this morning, I had no escape, and the time still passed quickly.
I eavesdropped on two women’s talk about a bachelorette they had to attend but didn’t want to, saying they were too old for such things. Mind you, they were probably late 20’s, and I’ve been to a few bachelorettes in my late 30’s and still had fun! Next to them, a young woman unabashedly took out her compact and applied layers of taupe eye shadow on her lids, unaware or uncaring of the looks she got. Down a few from her, a woman of unknown mental capacity spoke to the commuters in general, with a booming voice about how “They have no respect. They should never have been voted into office. They are going after our money.” I don’t know who the "They" was in her scenario, but she was pissed and wanted us all to know about it. She didn't get any verbal responses to her diatribe, but many looked the other way or moved over. If it weren’t for her unkempt hair and sloppy attire, we probably would have listened more to her words than her presence. Ignoring her were two tall men, dressed in similar black wool car coats, chatting about the game tonight. I am made aware of the potential I am letting slip away each morning I don’t make eye contact with these types. But at least, I think, I am aware of the opportunities for manly company I let slip away.
Next thing I know, my station was being announced, and I joined the throng of commuters leaving the train. There is routine and order in these commuter pathways. Those on the right stand of the escalator stand still, while those on the left walk hurriedly up and up. I am always glad to emerge into the daylight from the depths of the subway tunnels. I have a purpose again and walk with those like me to sit in my cube and stare at a computer screen. At 5:30pm, we will repeat the commute in reverse. I wonder who I’ll encounter on my way home. Maybe I’ll forget my mp3 more often.