May 25, 2010

The Good and the Bad

I had to leave the taping early today to come home, which was bad, as I missed the later games. However, as a result, I took the subway by myself for the first time, which went well, and the train by myself as well.

I got to the station a couple of minutes early, boarded the train, and began walking towards the back in search of a window seat. Oddly, I ran into Charlotte, who was going home from her job shadow day. We talked briefly, then I left because I "needed to do work." (Let the record show that I do this every time I get on the train, and yet the work never gets done). I stepped out of the train, walked down a few more cabs, then stepped back on and moved forwards through the doors, ignoring the platform. About two cabs in, I saw an empty seat. I moved towards it and sat moments before a man coming from the other direction could. I say that the seat was mine, as I definitely spotted it first, so this was fair. However, he didn't put up a fight, so this crucial detail is irrelevant.

I put my bag on the set next to me and focused upon looking intimidating, trying to retain my seat. The first couple of people who walked by sat elsewhere. The next asked, perfectly politely, if the seat was free. I said yes and moved my bag; he stowed his and sat down. I had my earbuds in, so I wasn't particularly worried about needing to communicate.

However, my seat companion turned out to be rather talkative. Before leaving Manhattan, I had given up on my ipod and pulled out my copy of The Elegant Universe, as it is easier to drift in and out of conversation while reading than while listening to music. I ended up, naturally, not reading the book.

Talking to stranger-boy, whose name was not revealed until right before he left, was quite comforting. It's nice to know that I can talk to someone I've never met without any of the difficulties I've come to associate with talking with people I've never met. For this association, I blame Mario, as he somehow managed to convince me that I was incapable of normal conversations using his wily ways (in other words, his inability to carry a conversation).

Regardless, stranger-boy was quite nice to talk to. We will ignore the fact that I generally enjoy talking to cute boys (which he was/is) in this analysis. We managed to cover sea animals, jellyfish, Michael Jackson, the ethics of sneaking free passage on the train, his college, college in general, some topics in science, the relative enjoyability of stay at home jobs, and issues with cell phones.

He also told an extremely delightful story that was, overall, a comedy of errors, to the point where, if he hadn't provided quite so many supporting details, I would have believed it untrue. The gist of it is that stranger-boy had, uncharacteristically, decided to be generous to a hobo who claimed he needed money for gas. However, he didn't have any money with him, so he brought the hobo back to his dorm, told him to wait outside, and went in to get twenty bucks. Then, for reasons that were later unrecountable, he elected to go check his mail. However, he was carrying a bag of juggling supplies, including a considerable number of juggling knives, so put the bag down to go downstairs. When he was halfway through the mail, he realized that the dorm had a policy against unattended bags, so he went upstairs to attend to his bag. He got there just as the security officer was going to open the bag, but, in his haste to stop him, he dropped his other bag, which he was holding. This bag, unfortunately, held a bottle of wine which he, at age 20, shouldn't have had in the first place. Said bottle shattered upon contact with the ground. He managed to get out of discussing the wine by giving the security officer assurance that he would clean it. He responded that "he just needed to pay the man on the street," which he immediately realized sounded sketchy.

Anyways, funny story. At least I got something out of missing the last competition round.