Thursday, March 19, 2009

Light Rail

I've started riding the light rail to/from school. Campus is about 40 minutes away (driving), but I can't park where I used to anymore. The light rail was finished and ready for use at the beginning of the year, but I just started riding about 2 weeks ago. I love it, even though it takes a bit longer. I'm in a qualitative analysis class right now, so one thing I'm learning is how to observe what's around me--become nosey. So now I look forward to my lightrail time, as it is always an adventure. I've seen middle-aged men fight, drunk teenage girls stumble and fall on top of each other, and listened to HILARIOUS elderly men tell dirty jokes. Normally on the light rail there's constant, loud background noise provided by the blasting AC. It's so loud that it muffles most conversations and, if you want, you can effectively ignore anything around you. Tonight at the Van Buren/Central stop the train paused longer than normal, and then the air went off. A conversation that had been going on quickly stopped, and silence ensued. What had been a sterile, impersonal space was suddenly a very small and intimate setting. I could smell the guy in front of me, and across from me heard the woman's clothes move as she uncomfortably shifted. We tried to continue ignoring each other, but we were all painfully aware of one another's presence. What makes us so unable to interact with other people who sit right next to us, whose shoulder has been pressed against mine for the last 30 minutes, but I can't even look at her? An excellent mix of hilarious, awkward, and so fascinating!
I'll be thinking about it more...comments?


Anonymous said...

I usually wear ear buds and listen to my iPod when riding the train. Nevertheless, snippets of overheard conversation can be interesting. The train gets people to interact and notice one another. I think that's a lot better than the bubble of isolation created when everyone is in a private car.

Heather Allyse said...

Aubs that was very well written, it was like reading a short story. I am your biggest fan!