People watching : The subway route (part I)


I have always wanted to write a series. A book would take too long. A blog series sounds sinfully perfect. It would be a lie if I said this post will be short but hey its shorter than a book.

This series will be about my people watching adventures. Which I have a lot of. Like constantly. If you think no one is watching which makes it prime time to pick your nose. Stop. I’m watching. Don’t pick your nose. It makes me squeamish and judge you. You don’t want me to judge you. You won’t like me when I’m squeamish.

The first two blog entries in this series comes from my commute this morning. I  have decided to split it so that you can read it in chunks. Maybe save the second part for later. Like I often do with my dessert. It gives me something to look forward to.

The reason for my commute this morning takes us back to Nov 2014. When while performing a dead lift I partially dislocated my knee. I was diagnosed 2 months later when I dragged myself to a doctor who sent be to physio. It is this physiotherapist I had an 8 am appointment with this morning.

I usually take the GO train to Toronto not the bus to the subway which would take me to Toronto. If you have read the post about the daily commute titled “why you should always listen to your heart” you’ll know about my commuting woes.

Today I decided to wing it. The number 9 bus takes me to an intersection where I get to choose between the no. 5 bus to take me to the subway or 10 to take me to the GO train station. I had never before chosen no. 10.The no. 9 I caught this morning was unlikely to allow me to catch the no.10 bus since they were a minute apart. The distance from my first stop to my second wasn’t. I figured if there was any possibility of catching the 10 today, it would be a sign that I should. I had learnt my lesson. Listen to your heart.

I did however do what I wasn’t supposed to. I ran. I ran to catch the 9 and 10, both of which I saw coming from a distance. This hurt the knee pretty badly but I figured I was going to get it fixed anyway.

As I got on the bus and tapped the Presto card to pay for my ride, i saw the balance drop to $10. I had sent off $100 to presto  yesterday. Why hadn’t they applied the credit yet. Why was I running low.

Fast forward to 20 minutes into the bus ride :

A woman sitting in front of me had been typing what seemed to be a long email on her Samsung phone using an I phone stylus. I found it entertaining to watch.  Didn’t the stylus make the process harder? Longer? Perhaps more accurate but was it worth it? Then why was she using it? People from my parent’s generation do peculiar things that I don’t understand. Or so I thought until I took a deeper look at myself.  I use the SwiftKey keyboard to type most of these blog posts and have had to retype a lot of words so far due to faulty word prediction software. So maybe the lady was on to something.

Two men were asleep, the movement of the bus swaying their heads in rhythm with each other. Packed into their tiny seats, they looked like one body. So comfortable with the proximity to each other. It reminded me of how pained people look when on public transportation. As if they were a flock of animals that knew they were being taken to the slaughterhouse. So uncomfortable with close proximity which is a core of the public transportation experience. Yet as soon as the same people dozed off their bodies relaxed. As if whatever was plaguing them in consciousness, unconsciousness was able to cure. I wanted to be one of them.

There was a girl wearing a purple hoodie sitting in front of me. Bobbing her head to the music she was listening to. I did that sometimes. It felt freeing. I knew I looked crazy but I didn’t care.

Amidst all of this, all I could hear was the sound of the bus trying to pick up speed. It sounded like a painful process. There seemed to be a window open somewhere letting a cool breeze in but I couldn’t find it.  I had escaped into another world. Where the bus never stopped and I could stay with the sweet smell of fresh rain mixed with soil.

The atmosphere of serene silence was shattered by the girl in the purple hoodie as she sneezed . It seems to wake the guys that were enjoying their peaceful slumber. They knew each other.

We were approaching my subway stop. I stood up. My knee hurt. Goddamn knee. It was good that I was making the trip to physio. I needed it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s