Is it too much to ask?

Sunday..Memorial Day weekend. 68 degrees and sunny. 74A-46TH STREET STATION-GO TWINS! Hmm…apparently, it’s not too early in the morning to smoke a joint, and dude must not anticipate having to pee in a cup today. 10:03…54 LTD STOP-MALL OF AMERICA-VIA AIRPORT. I’d rather be camping or boating or grilling, but such is my lot in life, along with the rest of these pot-smoking, earbud-wearing working stiffs. When I get home tonight, I am going to research the origin of the term working stiff. The words conjure up a black and white image of rowdy, Irish factory workers havin’ a pint at a neighborhood pub.

The bus has gotten crowded, and as fate would have it, I find myself in one of those most dreaded of circumstances. To my immediate right, at eye level, is a man’s belt buckle. If I turn my head, even slightly, he may think I am looking at his crotch…and he would be right. For the next 15 minutes, I tap away on my little key pad and pretend that I don’t notice, and that I am not disturbed by his close proximity. Is it too much to ask that he turn to face the front or back of the bus? That would be the proper thing to do. This is exactly the reason people find public transportation disgusting. Either he is new to it, or this is how he gets his jollies. I am hoping the former. I am also hoping that he is not looking downward right now to read the words I type on this tiny screen. I cannot look up to see if he is, because if he is, our eyes will meet. Can’t risk it…I just hold the phone so that he can’t possibly see the screen. Oh, my god…are we there yet?

Still recovering from the above trauma, I wait for the tram. THE TRAM IS APPROACHING THE STATION-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE DOORS. I take my usual strategic position, safely clear of the doors. The portly couple to my left obviously didn’t listen to the streaming audio, because they are standing smack dab in front of the doors with their roller bags. Out of consideration for folks that will be exiting, I offer a suggestion. “You should step to the side, so you’ll be out of the way.” The man seems annoyed by me, but they step aside slightly as the door opens and three people say, “Excuse me…” while edging past them. Just before boarding, the man pauses, and then turns to ask sarcastically, “Is it ok with you if we get on now?” Touché.

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