Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Scenes from the Max

Quote du jour
: Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain.
- Lily Tomlin

Maybe it's just me, but if I saw someone wearing headphones and with their head down, their eyes fixed on a book, my first thought would not be "Oh! There's a person who wants me to sit down and talk to them!"

The young guy on the Max train, however, thought otherwise. Full of a twitchy kind of energy, he cheerfully launched into a full flood of conversation; all that was required of me was that I sit there and listen.

Mostly, it was the kind of talk that's hard to argue with. He said things like "I hate rain. It makes everything wet. I much prefer sun or snow." Um.... yeah.
Then he switched over to talking about how he hated the legal system. "I mean, I got a notice to show up to court, but there are two courthouses within a few blocks of each other. How're you supposed to know which one to go to? So they said I didn't show up. It's so unfair." Didn't the notice include the address where you were supposed to go? "And cops. I hate cops. I mean, it's good that they're there if there's an emergency or something, but basically they're just all pigs." Um... would you even notice if I started reading my book again?
Thankfully, he got a phone call and got off a few stops later. He kept protesting to the caller "Well, if you tried to see it from my shoes, you'd understand..."


The ride home was much quieter. No one felt the need to tell me anything at all; I sat and listened to conversations on all sides. It felt very peaceful. The two guys across from me were talking about boat races they were involved in; one guy held a paddle and was dressed in sporting clothes like he just got off the river. I didn't think much of it until the time came for the paddle-holding man to get off the train. That was when he unfolded the long white cane and began tapping his way toward the doors.

I don't know why it surprised me that a blind man was involved in boat racing, but it did. It's good to overthrow your expectations from time to time.

Exercise du jour: Walking day today. The bike ride yesterday, I'm embarrassed to report, left the muscles a bit sore. (Though not the knees! Maybe replacing the bottom bracket fixed things. I hope.)
Done! Couple miles, but better than nothing.


C said...

I hate those egocentric twits. All they want to hear is the sound of their own voice. No consideration at all for who they're torturing.

Glad the knees are doing well. Enjoy your walk today.

Cat said...

Guess you couldn't come up with "I don't speak English" in some foriegn language? Though with someone like that, it would probably just egg 'em on, louder...

I must say, that would be a thing I wouldn't have expected, either, but I suppose that blindness doesn't mean he can't paddle! ;)

Hope the ol'exercising does well for you!


The Merry said...

I know how to say "I don't speak Russian" in Russian, but whenever I tried to use it people would assume that since I knew that much, I must know the rest of the language and start nattering away at me.

One Crazy Penguin said...

You just need to get a shirt or sign that says "Go Away!". That ought to do the trick :p

Retta said...

Isn't it funny how we are all so trained to be "polite" when we really just want to be left alone?!

It took me years to feel comfortable just hanging up on telemarketers. They count on our "politeness training". So now I just interrupt with "no thanks" and hang up mid-sentence. Ahhh... what a relief. :-)

Hmmm... now how to apply that to the dense ones in person?? ;-)

essbee said...

My friend Walt is an excellent boater of all stripes, and blind. He requires a copilot, obviously, but is a better kayaker and sailor than most anybody I know. He and another friend came in first in the mixed-double class in a kayak race last year, but he was extremely irritated because she didn't tell him that the crafty guy who had been drafting them in a single for about 3 miles pulled around right at the end to dash up for the overall win. "I still had gas in the tank...we could have won!"

Walt is awesome. =)

The Merry said...

I agree, that is awesome.
I thought the guy on the Max was awesome too. Just don't know why it was such a surprise.

Shelley said...

It's hard to be rude to someone by asking them to leave you alone, but aren't they being rude by talking to you like that? The public - why must we have to deal with them??? LOLOLOL

Nice job getting your walk on!

messymimi said...

Since my Sweetie and Bigger Girl are both big talkers, i've learned to half listen, picking up key words that tell me what topic they are on, while i just keep doing what i need to do. It's a skill worth developing when you deal with this.

London Mabel said...

Like your paddle story--it is nice to have expectations upended a bit.