Thursday, March 20, 2008

Life in the City with the Hole in the Middle

Some days are just weird.

This morning, driving up W.139th toward the Triskett Rapid Station, I saw a person back out of his/her driveway directly into a parked car. The person paused for a moment, then drove off.

At the station, the train, once again, was late. When it finally arrived there were few seats left. As I took up a position in the aisle, I watched as a women quietly but firmly said "excuse me" to a young guy, maybe seventeen or eighteen, who was slouched completely across one of the seats.

He looked at her blankly.

She asked him to make room to allow her to sit.

Still the stare from the kid, now with an obvious touch of who-the-hell-are-you defiance.

The woman repeated her request, a little more forcefully, and when the kid did absolutely nothing, she wedged herself into the seat, kind of hip-checking the kid so he had to make room.

Looking into his eyes, she remarked on the kid's lack of manners. He just pulled his hoodie over his face and went back to slouching, occasionally laughing and making snide remarks to no one.

The woman, bless her, never backed down. I wouldn't want her angry with me.

This afternoon, I went down to the newstand in the Penton Bldg to get a Diet Coke. The very nice lady who cashiers there was obviously upset about something, nearly in tears. When asked, she mentioned that someone had stolen the money out of a jar on the counter that she was using to collect donations for some sort of charity. All I could do was shake my head in disgust.

"It's an ugly world," I said.

"And it's gettin' worse," one of the other customers said.

1 comment:

Carole Cohen said...

I lived in DC area for 19 yrs. When I arrived in '79, signs on two front Metro seats had signage over them indicating these seats were for pregnant or handicapped riders. People always gave up their seats. Somewhere in the 90s, things changed. The signs were still there but the courtesy was gone.

Luckily this is not an across the board thing - today I heard someone ask an elderly woman if she needed help getting her groceries into her car.