Life on the Rolling Highway
It’s morning rush-hour and we’re in three lanes of rolling traffic and there’s this guy and he’s just cut off that other guy! Now, he’s in front of him. But wait! That Land Rover’s going a little too slow so he hugs its bumper – he’ll show him! And, in the middle lane just up ahead our guy sees the momentary hole. Like a jackrabbit, he goes for it. He’s in! And we’re passing him. Don’t look! We don’t want him to think that he’s gotten away with anything, right? I mean, after all, he should –
Right-hand lane breaks to yet another stop. Our guy isn’t happy. He’s already got his right blinker blinking because the breakdown lane is open for bustling during rush hour. That guy in the blue Volvo! He knows what our guy is about to do – what he’s been doing – and, because fair is fair in love and war, he slows down just enough to block in our guy. Sonofabitch!
Finally! He’s here at the commuter rail station.
And the Evermore Tracks
Commuter Rail is slick. Commuter Rail commutes with a sophistication that Bus/Subway slob completely lacks. This morning, like every morning, Commuter Rail smells wonderful! His hair is still wet from the shower, his suit crisp, his face nice and smooth and glowing because Mrs. Commuter Rail (a new mom who, today, will bring her kids to Starbucks to meet up with her friends and their kids, and soon after they settle in, gripping their steaming lattes in both sleeve-covered hands, the kids will start screaming and running around Starbucks, but hey, she’s Mrs. Commuter Rail, so no one will say anything) gave Mr. Commuter Rail a Calvin Klein shaving kit for Christmas this year, and so he wouldn’t be caught dead sliding between the closing doors like the Bus/Subway slobs do. Those uncouth losers! Commuter Rail knows the ins and outs of his train so well that he knows exactly where to stand while he awaits his train’s arrival. Commuter Rail stands erect in his spot, checking his cell phone – which, every month, produces a sizable bill because he and Mrs. Commuter Rail have matching iPhones on one God-loving “Family Plan!” He likes the games; she uses it to chart her meditations. Once satisfied with his email, he pulls The Metro newspaper from under his arm. And he spreaaaaddss it wide – in the words of Sarah Palin, “You betcha!” You betcha; Commuter Rail owns this spot. He’s in his element. Confident. Ready to kick some ass and take some numbers. Commuter Rail, we wanna be just like you! Oh God, I can’t
stand it. Of course you’re hungry. It’s lunchtime, and we’re standing here in the Park Street T-station (that’s Boston for “subway”) – I know you know where we are, but they don’t! Anyway, there’s Commuter Rail! Yes. That’s him. Still looking handsome, no? All right; calm down. No, no, he’s fine! Nooo, nothing is wrong with him; you need to chill. He’s sitting there, slumped over because Commuter Rail is here in the subway! I know! Gross! No spot. No Metro. His only friend is his iPhone who’s only in it for the money, I think. It is sad. If only they knew. Oh, God, if only these bovine Bus/Subway slobs knew that that’s Commuter effing Rail over there! But, of course, they don’t know. How could they? I mean, they can barely get onto the train when it comes.
Oh, don’t feel bad for him. He doesn’t care. He knows he’s amongst the plebeians. Here comes the train! I don’t know if I can stand to watch him get shoved –
Wait! What’s he doing? He’s letting the Bus/Subway crowd go before him! While he stands! A little aloof! A cute smile just cracking the surface of his face! With deference, without an ounce of condescension, he’s letting the slobs go ahead of him! Quick, before we both faint from the awesomeness that is Commuter Rail, let’s go
to end of the day. Wait! Maybe you shouldn’t look. Nothing’s wrong, but…of course you looked. Naturally. I told you not to. Why do you always look when I tell you not to? I could save your life, you know, if you’d just let me. Well, the reason he’s back here in the Park Street T-station because he has to get up to South Station. Once there…yes, that’s right. Commuter Rail will stand there, erect but understandably tired, bemused but undoubtedly a little edgy, suit jacket slung over his shoulder and –
I can’t believe he just did that! Did you see that? He almost knocked that woman over as he raced down the stairs and –
he’s running! Running to his car! Oh, Commuter Rail, say it ain’t so! Cutting through the little throngs of other Commuter Rails! The lights of his 300-series Beemer blink twice as he hauls himself inside, starts his engine, and…almost hits that woman! Why is he acting so mean?
- Improving the MBTA (pedestrianobservations.wordpress.com)
- Boston Area Transit Under Threat (sierraclub.typepad.com)