Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Riding the T

I love riding the T. The lives that you glimpse for a moment, share for a few stops. Lives that one can invent for people that you see, knitted from a scrap of conversation or a pair of scuffed, well-worn shoes. So many different lives: students, blue collar workers, professionals, young, elderly. Some sit as tightly wound as a spring, practically quivering with tension. Others read. Still others snooze. One very clean-cut young man used his train ride to nap, frankly snoring away. It's the same reason I love to sit by the window in a hotel late at night and watch the city pass by below.

Maybe I'm a fantasist. Perhaps I've watched too many movies. Still I love the idea that here on the T, the lives of complete strangers can intersect, even if only for a moment.

To be frank, my cynical side asserts, I've seen few exchanges between strangers. The two I remember involved very pretty young women...girls, really. One, whose crisply curling chestnut hair was pulled into a carefully careless updo, exuded a certain waifish, slightly bookish charm. The second channeled Alice in Wonderland Goes to College with her long, straight blonde hair held back with a headband. Both drew the attention of hopeful young men (and the eyes of still-hopeful, not-so-young men).

So the reality may be that on the T, as elsewhere, romance is reserved for the young and the attractive. Yes, the reality is that the T is an often crowded, frustrating system with (if reports are to be believed, unsafe) equipment and stations. I acknowledge this. My reality as an infrequent user is very different from those who rely on its caprices for daily transport. Yep. Call me an idiot romantic. It's also a place of infinite possibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for commenting. I love reading your thoughts and responses.