Friday, November 23, 2007

Your Weeble is Showing

After the performance of the Shaolin Warrior Monks, we walked back to Park St. Station to catch the outbound subway.

As we descended the stairs, I breathed in the stale air. I’d been riding the Green Line since I was 7 years old and was taken with a wave of nostalgia. The stations have been cleaned up considerably. When I was younger the stale air had an underlying tang of beer, beer waste and by product and unwashed derelict. I sighed. Even without the pungency, entering the station felt like a homecoming.

We walked through the station took the stairs down to Park St. Under to the Red Line and then climbed another flight of stairs up to the Outbound side of the track.

The platform was crowded and I was surprised how many people, especially young people, were milling about waiting for the Outbound “D” train to Riverside.

My Young One was taken with the novelty of riding the subway and she looked up and down the track searching for the train. I reached a hand and pulled her behind the yellow caution line. As a youngster, I remembered stepping over the line with The Brother as he laid pennies on the track. We would watch with glee as the old green trolley cars would flatten the pennies into thin sheets of copper. With so many pennies laid end to end and stacked five high, it’s a wonder we didn’t derail any trains.

A blast of stale air, bright light from the tunnel, and a roar announced the arrival of the train. Even though the hour was late, the train was crowded. The doors whooshed open and we surged with the crowd like salmon swimming upstream. We moved to the back of the first car where it joins the second car. There were no seats available so I grabbed the hand hold on one of the seats. I poked the Young One to hold on. Himself was standing at the back of the first car and a glance behind him revealed all the seats in the second were filled too.

Sitting in a single seat facing me was a young man. He looked to be in his late teens or early twenties. “Excuse me,” he said. “Would you like to sit down?” he asked me.

I knew seats would be available after a few more stops so I declined. Then I caught sight of Himself hanging onto a hand hold and desperately trying not to laugh as the train lurched forward.

Now, I was perfectly happy thinking the young man was being polite and chivalrous. He couldn’t possibly have offered me his seat because he thought I was a old.

Himself pressed his lips in a tight line in an effort to stop them from curling into a smile. He quickly looked away from me and became engrossed in one of the advertisements across the aisle. His shoulders were shaking with suppressed mirth.
After several stops, the young man disembarked and other seats became available. The Young One and I sat in a double seat and Himself sat behind us. We swayed and lurched through the dark to the end of the line.

As we walked to the car, Himself started to laugh.

“He was just being polite!” I said sharply.

“He probably thought you were as old as his grandmother!”

“Shut up."


Erica Vetsch said...

Tell me the young man didn't say 'ma'am'. That would be too much.

And his mama would be proud of him. I'm sure she raised him to know better than to sit when a lady is standing.

I can't wait to ride the subway with you, but if someone offers you a seat, I'm probably not going to be as polite as Himself and stifle laughter...and if someone offers ME a seat, all bets are off!

Alesia said...

And how old is HIMSELF?!? People who live in glass houses should not p*ss up wind.

Nutterone said...

The truth is hard... I mean, what nerve! *grin* You will NEVER be a weeble!!!