(un)conscious decisions

Public transportation isn’t for everyone. Confined spaces, brushing rear ends with strangers and the accidental (totally on purpose) boob graze; what’s NOT to love?  When I tell my mom I’ve booked a trip somewhere outside the 2 mile radius of my domicile, she’s all, “how’re you gonna get to the airport? Then once you’re there, how’re you gonna get to…wait, where are you staying?” By now I’m used to this Q & A. During my time abroad, I learned to rely heavily on public transportation because cab drivers can AND WILL rip you off. Nope, your attempt at a French accent is NOT sexy (endearing at most), it will NOT get you French (any) boys and you’ll look even dumber when they speak fluent English.

There are two responses I give my mom to said questions. The first, which really grinds her gears, is “Eh, it’s whatever. I’ll figure it out.” Nothing quite like a vague, uncertain response when it comes to your child’s travel and overall safety. The second, much more common response goes something like this, “Well, I’m taking the T there then once I land, theres a $5 shuttle bus that leaves on the half hour, which will take me to the train station where I have 7 minutes to buy a ticket, and run from terminal A to D to catch the outbound train. Once I catch that, it’s like 55 minutes to the subway where I only have to change twice before I get to my friends place. He said he’d be home but if he’s not I’ll just go get some coffee or something.”

“SARAH, just take a cab. I’ll pay for it.”

Standard Jewish mother response.

Public transportation is more entertaining anyway. You’re not forced into conversation with some crazy from Ghana who is 150% sure he could run the country better than “that black guy” currently in office. Nine times out of 10, he’s not talking to me but to his mother-in-laws sister on his headset circa 1995. I always respond.

On this weeks episode of “Sarah Takes the T”, I was on the Blue line, the most direct route to the airport. I walk on to see a single available seat in front of me so I beelined for that son of a bitch. Unfortunately, I failed to take note why no one sat there. Looking as far to the left as I can without moving my head, I see the lifeless body of a man dressed head to toe camo and Timberland boots. #Thatawkwardmoment when everyone sees it, but chooses not to acknowledge the situation but is pissing themselves at my obvious misfortune. Another homeless man waltzes on at the next stop and tries to rouse him so he can sit down, too, but to no avail. He shakes him, lifts his limp, lifeless arm and now people are growing concerned this man is dead but still, people won’t do anything because god forbid  we give up our seat or dirty our hands.

Mind you, I still haven’t moved, am holding my breath so as not to inhale the combo of body odor and week old Jameson and am still sitting next to a potentially dead human being. One stop before the airport, the MBTA police gets on, grabs the man and goes “Bob, you can’t keep doin’ this, man. Where you goin’ this time?” Bob looks at me and goes, “Sweetheahhht, where we goin’?”

Bob and I, we bonded. His semi-toothless grin and piercing breath will forever remain in my nostrils, no matter how hard I scrub.

So mom, have fun picturing THAT scenario every time I travel from now on. 


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