Romance on the Orange Line
Ah how I didn’t miss the orange line. I didn’t realize just how awful it smelled until I was standing there waiting for a train on Wednesday evening. The smell of piss, very stale piss, just seems to slap you in the face. The smell hangs in the air and is so thick that choking on it seems like a real possibility.
I was on my way to a job fair, one for which I was not all that excited to begin with. The ride to the fair was almost completely uneventful. In fact it was as pleasant as the MBTA can offer: relatively empty trains and quick service. The only hiccup came when I almost got to my stop. I was headed to Green Street, but was overcome by the Black Keys. Yep, I was rockin’ out to El Camino on my iPhone and momentarily lost track of what stop I was at. The train came to a stop and I panicked. Is this my stop? Looking out the windows there was not one sign anywhere in site. WTF! Knowing I was close I didn’t want to overshoot my stop so I stepped off the train. No signs! I only came across one after a little bit of walking and discovered I got off at the wrong one. As the train was pulling away I realized I was at Stony Brook, which is a stop earlier than I needed to be.
Instead of waiting god knows how long for the next train I walked the rest of the way. That was a long, windy, cold 3/4 of a mile to the job fair. It wouldn’t have been bad if the job fair was worth going to. Picture Market Basket just after word gets out of a pending zombie apocalypse (or any Saturday afternoon, for that matter), and that’s what it looked like. The crowd was overwhelming, the signage was poor (Stony Brook station poor) and they ran out of handouts telling you what companies the tiny numbers represented.
Screw that…back to the Orange Line! Here’s where it got really interesting. The first car I got on contained a normal guy, an MBTA employee and an enormous homeless looking guy. The homeless guy decided to strike up a conversation with the MBTA employee even though they were on opposite ends of the car. They spoke by shouting. I was in the middle, and immediately looking for an escape ten seconds into the journey.
At the next stop, I got out and moved down a car. Safe, right? Wrong! We hit the next stop very quickly and a homeless looking couple entered and started getting very amorous. It would be amusing, in a horrifying kind of way, if only they had not sat right next to me. It had this Game of Thrones kind of vibe to it, with her saying no and him having his way with her. She was playfully telling him to stop and he kept groping his bag lady like there was no tomorrow. She was in between us, but I was nervous that the arm he had around her shoulder would fly out and touch me. Don’t tag me in, don’t tag me in! She threatened to bite him at one point, but he laughed in a drunken sort of fashion, she cackled in a crazy bag lady type of way, and they continued to dance that ugly dance. It had all the charm of a Julia Roberts movie, that is if Julia and Hugh Grant were both left outside for 12 years and happened to be high on bath salts. I got up and moved to the door just as I could feel the bile moving up my throat. Next stop, I moved down another car.
It only gets better from here, right? Wrong! The train got stuck at Downtown Crossing. They kept announcing that there was a signal problem and they couldn’t open the doors until it cleared. This happened before they could even let people out. There was a man with a bike who was very eager to get out, and also very hungry. Bike Man took this as an opportunity to have a snack in between annoyed sighs. He disgustingly shoved sunflower seeds into his mouth like a dirty parrot. With each announcement of the signal delay the pile of shells only grew worse.
I generally don’t eat on public transportation and if I do there are rules that must be followed: food doesn’t make contact with my bare hand and it should be consumed pretty quickly. I don’t even think it’s a great idea to breathe on the ‘T’, but maybe I’m more of a germaphobe than I thought I was. Anyway, back to Bike Man (or should we call him Polly?). I think he had pockets full of sunflower seeds, and it was just as entertaining as it was gross. I was tempted to lay down some newspaper. Quick, get me a copy of the Metro, we can’t have Polly making a mess in the train!
If only I had pictures of any of this. You’ll just have to believe me that all of this happened. Maybe the sight of me is an aphrodisiac of sorts to those out there that make and consume toilet wine. I guess my Blue Steel is more potent than I had previously thought. This goes for anybody out there, not just the derelictes.