02 February 2013

People Watching on Public Transportation and a Digression About Pretty Women

People who never ride public transportation are missing out.

What a trip -- pun intended.

Yesterday on BART. A nice quiet crack whore. Her skin looked like dried molasses. She had on flip flops with little plastic sunflowers on them. Her toes were like elongated raisins. She was meditative and oddly calm. Bony scraggly haired with a dirty dress/housecoat  that given her body mass looked like it was draped over a chair. She was a cleaner crack whore than one normally sees. She was probably somebody's mother and maybe a grandma to boot. Age is hard to determine with such people but I wanna say 40's. When I taught middle school I had a few students over the years whose mommas were crack whores. Other students had daddys who were lawyers and authors and such. Mixed bag.

There was a chubby 30ish white woman wearing a shirt that said "I Hecka Love Oakland." Except instead of the word love there was heart. A heart means love in case you didn't know. I wondered about anyone who would wear a shirt that said they "hecka" liked or loved or hearted anything. But especially Oakland. One would think that anyone afflicted with a fondness for Oakland would want to keep it a secret. Anyway she seemed happy in a dubious sort of unsentimental way. For some people happiness is a fall back feeling without any real feeling to it. Maybe she's a constitutional scholar or a bio chemist but she looked for all the world like someone saddled with intellect.

There was a man sitting on a sideways seat talking to a friend who was sitting in the adjacent front ways seat. He wore clean work jeans with cuffs and boots giving himself the appearance of a working poet or a communist longshoreman. Especially given his dark bushy beard and dark bushy hair and dark busy eyebrows. He was a serious and intent talker. He looked his nondescript friend in the eye as they spoke and his eyes were no more than a couple of feet from his companion. I don't know what they were talking about but it seemed damned important. An anarchist plot or publication of a new book or Israel. There was a real Israel Palestine vibe. That must of been it.

I also couldn't help but notice the pretty woman on my car. BART is kind enough to spread their pretty women so there's one or two in each car. Sometimes there's several together and sometimes there's none at all but generally speaking if you're into looking at pretty women (hey not me I'm blissfully married and have no interest in ANYONE else even to look) you'll find one. You might have to move a few seats and if the train is crowded you may have an obstructed view or none at all. But they're there. She was totally obsessed with her iPhone. I know it's unusual in this day and age to find a young person who'll spare a minute for their poor neglected smart phone. She had beautiful long brown hair and was dressed smart casual. But her efforts to wear make up without seeming to wear make up hadn't worked because she looked like someone wearing make up who was trying not to look like she was wearing make up.

When you're happily married and of a certain age all the pressure of noticing a pretty woman is gone. In single younger days you had to wonder if you should try to say something. If you don't it could be a missed opportunity that you'd regret onto your dying day and perhaps well beyond -- the kicking of yourself that you'd do. So you'd have to assess if this was someone you'd really like to get to know and by get to know I mean other things that should be self evident and if they're not self evident you're too young to be reading this blog. So okay maybe she seems shallow and uninteresting and you can safely say "thanks but no thanks" unless you're under the influence which is a whole different matter entirely. So you think this might "work." Is there an opening to say something? If so what. That's always a killer. Okay I want to say something but what? It's got to be clever -- preferentially relevant to the moment. Once I was sitting at a table in the public library across from a gorgeous young thing who I'd exchanged a smile with. She seemed smart -- hello in a library -- and natural and interesting and accessible. My brilliant idea was to write a clever note -- a speciality of mine. I composed a doozy. It demonstrated that I was funny smart and had a way with words and no I don't remember a single letter of it. I was quite proud of it and was about to slide it across the table when Hercules sat down next to her and she greeted him with a kiss. I threw the fucking note away.

I observed these people and more although I swear to Vishnu that I was reading and listening to music the whole time. Veteran public transportation riders can do this. You're welcome.

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