Trouble on the 5:04

I know, I know. It’s been a few days since I posted. I can’t get my thoughts together to write a cohesive post. I’m mad and now I’m sick. I’ve re-written this post twice already.

When I take the LIRR home (which has been pretty much every day the last few days) I usually take the 5:01 to Ronkonkoma. I don’t live on the Ronkonkoma line, but that train is pretty much empty every day, plus it leaves three minutes before the 5:04 so I can get out of Dodge faster. My connecting train is usually at Jamaica when I get there so I don’t have to wait outside or battle the hordes on the 5:04 to get in to get a seat.

The only thing I don’t like about the 5:01 is when I get to Jamaica and the doors open the people waiting don’t let you off. I’ve shouldered plenty of people out of the way so I can get off the train. I’ve exchanged words with a few people crowding to get on this virtually empty train. Whatever. I get my knocks in- do you know how heavy Stephen King’s new book is? Hidden in my bag, it’s a formidable weapon.

Once I get on the 5:04, it’s about 25 minutes to my stop. Sometimes, it’s the longest 25 minutes of my life. Especially if one of my favorite characters is on board that day.

Character #1- Smelly Lady. This heavy lady is very nice- I’ve heard her speaking to other people on the train, but one has to hold one’s breath when passing her. She doesn’t smell like unwashed flesh, or body odor but like sweetly rotting organic matter. Like a compost heap. She looks clean but she smells dirty. Earthy dirty. I can’t describe it- I just know I feel like gagging when I walk past her. So I try not to.

Character #2- The Stalker. I’m not alone when I say Dan is disgusting. I met him previously when I had the party place- he came to a kosher party with his daughters. We talked, realizing we both took the same train home. I would like to say that he stares at me because I made such an impression on him when we met that day, but no. I’ve caught him staring at other women on the train. With his hand down his pants. One time vigorously rubbing. Yeah, I know. Gross.

He’s slick about it, too. Once he finishes his card game with the other commuters, he’ll stand in the doorways or in seats facing the me and use the reflections in the windows to check me out. I’ve woken up with him standing in the doorway peeking out behind the advertising signs. Staring at me. One time Diane, a fellow commuter and friend of mine, confronted him and told him he had to stop gawking at the pretty girls* riding the train. He feigned ignorance and went on his merry way. To stalk me and stare at me. Diane and I compared notes the next morning.

MR sees him walking to home when the train leaves and swears he’s going to follow him home or run him over. I haven’t seen him in a week or so (thank goodness) so I guess he’s safe. For now. Bwahahaha!

Character #3- The Bombay Nightingale. Lordy. When I see this Indian lady on the train, I know now not to sit in front of her. She rides the train from Brooklyn and she’s totally plugged into her MP3. And she sings. Indian music. Not the whole song, but the most annoying parts. And she’s LOUD! The other day she kept bursting into song and startling the whole car. I made eye-contact with several of the other riders and they were as pissed off as I was. Granted, I did have a splitting headache so that didn’t help.

As the train neared my stop, I got up and went to stand in the door area. Another woman joined me and we rolled our eyes together whenever the Nightingale screeched another song. We exchanged “pleasantries” about her singing and rolled our eyes again when she joined us in the door area. I shot her a really dirty look and she had the NERVE to ask what’s my problem?

Oh, no. You didn’t.

I told her that her singing was disruptive to EVERYONE in the car and that she was singing for the whole ride. “Am I disturbing you?”, she asked really snottily.

D’uh.

“Yes, you were. You were disturbing everyone.” At this point the other woman agrees with me.

“Oh, now you’re disturbing me. Why are you disturbing me. I don’t disturb anyone.”

W. T. F. Okay, lady. you’re nuts.

She followed the other woman off the train complaining the whole time that she’s not disturbing anyone and that we’re the ones disturbing everyone. When we (the nice lady and I) crossed paths at the bottom of the station platform, I told her some people just don’t get it.

So now I have to contend with crazy singing lady when I ride the 5:04.

I think I’ll start taking the bus home. I may be the only one that speaks English on that ride, but at least no one breaks into song.

*Clarification…I am certainly not pretty, and certainly not the only woman this guy stalks.

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