My insecurities are numerous, but they might actually be outnumbered by my pet peeves. And there is no place on Earth that sets me off more than a packed commuter rail train. To be fair, there are a great many days when my train-rides to and from Lowell are quite uneventful, almost pleasant. But there are other days when it seems as if there are dozens, perhaps even hundreds of people, conspiring to drive me slowly insane.
It starts with the vast array of sweaty, rancid-smelling fat men who always manage to choose the empty seat beside me to plop themselves down in. It continues when those same fat men pull out their T passes and reveal that their destination is the same as mine. And it gets even worse when the people around me begin to have inane conversations with one another or with whomever might be on the other end of their cellphone call.
Asking for the right to ban people from ever sitting next to me might be asking a bit too much, but I don’t think it would be too much to ask of passengers on the commuter rail that they bathe themselves regularly and that they shut the fuck up for the twenty to forty minutes they spend on the train. Or at least keep their voices down. Some of us are trying to read, some of us to sleep, and I guarantee you that most of us don’t want to be bothered by some obnoxious twit on his cellphone, babbling in baby-talk to a son or daughter who, on the other end of the line, is probably more interested in watching Sesame Street than listening to their dumb-ass, absent-from-their-lives father trying to establish some sort of loving relationship with them over the Goddamned telephone!
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. And please realize that I don’t hate the train so much that I would rather go back to driving into town. I just wish that, once or twice a week, I might end up with a seat-partner who was of an average physical build, not possessed of an aroma so strong that it could be used by anesthesiologists, and not possessed of a need to have obnoxiously loud conversations on his cellphone two inches away from me.