Jun 12, 2011

Tales from a TRAX Rider

When you ride public transportation frequently, you hear and see a lot of interesting things.

True, most of the people I ride with are either business people or university students, but there are those little treasures that make the ride worth telling. Here a couple of those stories:

The Artist
This happened my second day riding the train. I got on, sat down, took out my book, and started reading. About two stops later, a young-ish guy boards the train and sits down across from me, facing perpendicular to the direction I am facing. About 5 minutes later, he pulls something out of his bag. It's one of those sketch pads with the yellow covers. He starts drawing. No big deal. People do things like that on the train all the time. But then I notice something. He keeps looking over at me. Like, more than someone usually would. A thought starts forming in my mind. Trying to be sneaky, I stretch a little and glance over at him. Fortunately, the pad was turned just enough toward me that I could see what was on it. And what should I find but a portrait of myself! I smile, but I try to decide whether this is flattering or creepy.

The Jailbirds
So, I'm on my way home from work. Two kids get on. A boy and a girl, probably not older than 19. And they talk as if there is no one else on the entire train. First I learn that they are going to go visit the girl's boyfriend, who is in jail. Then I learn that the boy has been in jail on more than one occasion. Then I learn that the girl's boyfriend has threaten to beat up the boy because he thinks something might be going on between them. The girl has assured her boyfriend that they aren't like that. The guy talks about how whenever he gets out of jail and they give him back his steet clothes they always smell, "like the guard." Then the girl starts talking about some guy they both know that had the hots for her mom, but only because he wanted some place to sleep. The girl's mom had a boyfriend at the time. Then the girl talks about all the boys that propositioned her for sex (as a sidenote, this girl was not a skanky looking girl. She was pretty hefty, wearing basketball shorts and a baggy t-shirt. Take that as you will.). But don't worry, she wouldn't ever do that to her boyfriend (remember him? The one in jail?), because she loves him and would never hurt him that way. At this point in their conversation, they reach their stop and get off. I kind of wonder what else I would have learned about their very colorful lives if they had stayed on?

Add that in with the gaggle of Seattle soccer fans cheering the whole way to the stadium, the number of white wannabee gangstas, and the homeless people that get on in the "free fare zone", it can be a pretty interesting ride.


  1. Haha, this is awesome :) Great writing Whitney!

  2. The portrait thing, would be pretty creepy. Almost as creepy as unprecedented comments from strangers on the subject of your (rather personal) blog.
    Well written by the way.

  3. Hey now! Artists don't mean any harm by it, don't think it's creepy! Just take it in stride and pose! We do it all the time. It might have been somebody from Avalanche. Or BYU. It actually could have been someone I know. Huh.