Tales from the rails

So today was another commuter day. Not because I needed more penance for my sin of speeding, I’m over that. No, today was a commuter day because it’s a good idea, it saves money (commuter subsidy, yay!), and walking to the train station and to all my meetings in other buildings is a nice way to force my expanding backside to get up and walk.

It kind of blows to commute on a Fall into Winter morning, because the mornings are staying dark longer. It was not light yet when I rose, because I had an early meeting which meant taking the early train. Ugh.

The Cute Boy™ grumbled, mostly, when I went to kiss his sleeping self goodbye. “I love you” was greeted with a grunt that meant, roughly, “love you back”.

The upshot of a cold Fall morning is that I didn’t get as sweaty as I usually do on my walks. I’m a sweater from way back. I know, so not dainty.

So it was a pretty uneventful morning. Got the station on time. Train was on time. Found a seat right away. Read my book. Felt ok with life.

Got off the train and clambered onto the shuttle that goes from the station to my place of employment. The shuttle is usually where the real weirdos are. It’s like the train is fine, the weird asses are folded in with enough normal as to be hardly noticeable, but at that train station, we all fall through a sieve and the real gems of oddity funnel onto the shuttle bus with my employers name pasted on the side (yes, I know, what does that say about *me*?).

I found a seat, settled in for the shaky ride that takes about ten minutes. I was reading again when my weirdo spidey sense perked up. I lifted my head and looked around and found the lou-lou of the day.

Most of us carry backpacks in the Sili Valley. We’re all toting all manner of electronic gadgetry, so it’s easiest to haul ’em on your back, like an overpaid, overworked pack mule. On the shuttle, people either hold their pack on their lap, put it on the seat beside them, or at their feet.

Not this guy. He had his backpack standing straight up in his lap, arms wrapped tightly around it, hugging it to his chest. For dear life. Like it was a long lost brother. Like the love of his life. It was nestled under his chin and he never wavered from this loving embrace until we arrived at the destination, then he tossed it on his back and walked into the building.

Did he have some super secret product in there that’s on the forefront of technology, that will blow everyone’s minds, and he’s protecting it with his entire body? Is he devoid of passion and loving embraces in his life and his nylon pack is the best substitute? Is he an emotional basket case about coming to this godfersaken place every morning and the only way he can make it is to cling to something like a motherless rhesus monkey trying to suck warmth and love from it’s cloth panels and padded straps?

Who knows. It was just…weird.

You’d think after eight years at this place I’d have gotten over all the culturally encouraged weirdity.

Which makes me wonder…have I ever been the weird one on the bus? The one that’s talked about in the latte line? Hmm…..

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