Monday, November 05, 2012

Until further notice

It was Monday, October 29th in my French class (and all students showed up!), is Halloween in New Jersey, and is evidently November 5th on the calendar.

The morning train, which I'd been dreading, could have been so much worse. I, like everyone, left earlier to arrive later, but this was to be expected. I also stood for most of it, ahem, being evidently alone on NJ Transit in thinking one is supposed to get up and let a woman who looks about to give birth sit down, a woman who once seated started iPad Googling, what else, nanny murder ny. And it was all very Louis C.K.'s monologue, minus the bit about the life lessons. Yeah, I paused, didn't leap up, but quickly remembered that this woman who was like twelve months pregnant had probably also not had power for days, and yet was commuting into work. And then I stood crowded-subway-style for five years as the weekend-schedule-with-delays train crawled into Penn Station. Yes, I'm a wonderful person. But if one of the many people my fellow passenger had already walked by had gotten up first, I think I'd have been OK with that.

But at least I got on the train. That, these days, is no longer a given, and on the trip back (and I didn't even go at rush hour!), I very nearly did not. That leg of the journey confirmed that people used to the comforts of driving are very often useless on public transportation. Their idea of personal space is such that sardine-style is unacceptable. So there will clearly be room in a car, but it's very "I-can't-spare-a-square." Car after car was like, sorry, suckahs, until the last one had some reasonable people who let me (and some more) squeeze on. Then, not long after the first stop, I got a seat, using the time-honored NJ Transit method of not being afraid of sitting next to a black man.

It does not take much to feel like the gold standard for human decency on NJ Transit, I will say this much.

No comments: