Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mass Transit ~ Life as one travels

10:30 PM
Our flight has landed and we are heading home.  Rather than pay long term parking at the airport we opt to take mass transit to and from.  Gliding down the escalator with suitcases in tow, we see the Bart train at the station.  We don't know if this is the train we should get on and we hope it stays till we can stand on firm ground.  I see a flash of a woman with a rolling carry-on bag boarding, then I see the door close, her arm and bag outside the door.  For the brief moment my mind assumes the door should open, that it would sense an obstruction, but no the arm and bag are caught.  Then her arm disappears and all that is there is the bag.  Magically the door opens and she is able to pull the bag in and we have time to find out where this train will go.

I'm drowsy with the subtle movement on the train, strange however, since it is a noisy ride with screeches, squeaking and other sounds that leave you to wonder if it is normal for the train to sound like this.  I hear a male voice near me and glance up.  There is a lady who has been sitting next to us since we got on being very calm while a man hovers over her talking.  They weren't together as he has come on after our third stop.  She is attractive with dark complexion and long, straight, dark hair, mid to late 30's, with her tablet in her lap and a large tote bag on the floor.  The man is wearing cream colored slacks, a white lizard skin belt, white shoes and a pumpkin colored turtleneck shirt.  He is maybe in his early 40's and African American with a neatly trimmed mustache.  He is speaking softly with a monotone voice and it is slightly hard for me to understand him with the noise of the train.  What I do hear is his flattery towards the woman.  "You are very beautiful", "You are lovely", "I haven't seen a woman like you" and so forth.  For every flattery sentence she calmly says "Thank you" just as monotone as his voice.  I'm not sure what to think.  Is she being harassed?  She seems quite calm through all the interaction.  "I would like you to go out with me" he says.  I don't hear her say anything.  "Sometime then we should go out".  Still nothing.  He walks away.  She sits as she has without response to my eye contact.  I close my eyes and drowse off once again.

As we get closer to the city center of San Francisco more people get on.  Young people in their late teens to twenties mostly.  A group are sitting and standing nearer the other exit, laughing and talking.  Two African American girls pass through our car chatting up a storm and checking out who is in our car before moving to the next car.  Both wear khaki colored pants with two orange, stiff, narrow ribbons hanging out their back right pockets.  One has the most lovely ringlets of strawberry blonde dyed hair that goes down the middle of her back.  Within five minutes they pass through again.  I wonder what the ribbons are from.

A young woman four rows back wearing earphones plays music so loud it is as though she has no earphones on.  She will regret this when she is old and can't hear anymore.

We're almost to our stop and I text our house-sitter who will come and take us home.  I look up and see a young muslim woman wearing a hijab.  She sits down next to another young woman with long light brown hair.  They look very similar in age yet such contrast.  The light brown haired women is relaxed while the young women in the hijab is stressed.  As she sits down she clearly has asked to borrow the other woman's cell phone.  I see that she has come with a backpack that is full, heaping even, with a folded up blanket at the top.  She also has a small rolling suitcase.  She is talking on the cell phone and her face seems so pained in expression.  She looks near tears and it breaks my heart to see this in such a public place with no one with her.  The light brown haired women sits quietly and I wonder her thoughts.  The young woman with hijab passes the phone back and her face reads such turmoil.  You can see her mind is overwhelmed.  Our stop comes and we depart along with the light brown haired women.  I wonder where the young woman with the hijab is going.  I hope all will be well.

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