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1.11.2005

life in the underground

I have to make this post quick because I'm headed to Trannyshack shortly, but once again, an everyday, mundane part of life in San Francisco took a turn for the surreal this evening.

I was heading down into the Civic Center MUNI station after getting off a rather uneventful 19-Polk ride, listening to "Captivate" by Nitzer Ebb. I was in a little industrial-goth orgy world, since I just loaded it on my iPod and it had been about 10 years since I had listened to that song. When I got to the bottom of the stairs onto the platform, a shabbily-dressed, twitching, hopping, scab-covered tweaker woman came up to me. She was probably not too much older than me, but looked horrid.

"Hey man! Hey man!" she yelled. I took off my earphones.

"Hi there."

"Is it like, really cold and windy outside?"

I wondered exactly how long she had been hanging out in the MUNI station. "Not too bad, actually."

"Are the winds like, 10 or 20 miles an hour?"

I thought this question was a little odd, but since I had forgotten my portable wind gauge I usually carry with me so I am better-equipped to answer such random questions, I had to guestimate the wind speed right there on the spot.

"I'd say the wind is a good solid 8 miles per hour."

"From the north or south?"

"Um, west, actually."

"Is it really cold?" she pressed.

"Not really. I'd say it's cool, but not cold."

"How cool?"

I figured since I had a few minutes to kill until my train arrived, I thought oh, what the hell. "Kinda like an air conditioned bedroom in the summer."

For some reason, this made perfect sense to her.

"What setting?"

"Hmmm...I'd say high cool, air exchanger open."

"So it's not stuffy outside?"

"Nope. Nice and fresh."

"Is it a strong air conditioner or a weak one?" she fired at me.

"I'd say at least 18,000 BTU's."

"Oh boy, I wish I had my scarf." She then started running up the escalator, but turned around and said, "Hey, thanks man. Stay cool."

I smiled at her, and walked toward the edge of the platform. The train pulled up, and I got on. The train was mostly empty, save for two men with mohawks in leather jackets sitting across the aisle from me. They had intense, serious expressions on their faces, and I noticed one of them was wearing a dog collar. They detrained with me at Montgomery station, and when they got up, I noticed the one with the collar was also attached to a leash. His owner/boyfriend yanked the leash and growled, "Come on!" as if it hadn't occured to him to walk towards the exit. I kept a safe distance hehind them.

When I got to the stairway, I passed a man with obvious severe obsessive compulsive disorder. He was well dressed, but touched the wall 5 times when he reached the bottom of the stairwell, then turned and touched the escalator rail 5 times. Then he spun in a circle, and touched each ticket machine once before selecting the one on the end. By this time, I was just getting hungry, and didn't want to see the rest of his routine.

'Tis life in the underground metro system in San Francisco. Who needs cable TV when you can use that money for a MUNI pass?

Okay, I have to run. Trannyshack awaits. :-)

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9 Comments:

At 23:05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah. Who cares?!

 
At 06:55, Blogger Zeitzeuge said...

Hmm, I care. I find it amazing the people you'll meet on a daily basis. I'm sure SF has it's share of "unique people" as does Dallas.

 
At 08:23, Blogger krenneke said...

"unique people" can be everywhere. This nice phenomenon is not only observed in San Francisco, but as, apparently, people have become too monochrome in the USA, these people get all the attention. Aren't we all unique?

 
At 08:45, Blogger jdubbs said...

Fucking anonymous posters. Why do you bother reading, let alone posting, if you're only capable of regurgitating horseshit in response?

 
At 10:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to pee.

Michael

 
At 11:01, Blogger Chox said...

I love it. A hateful post! I suspect I know who it is, and where it originates (Chicago) but of course, I can't be sure.

It amuses me to no end that someone would actually be irritated by my blog, AND take the time to actually make that post.

Good. :-)

 
At 11:20, Blogger krenneke said...

do you really think it's a hateful comment? i guess it's just someone who didn't like what you wrote and though it's boring... you can say the same thing ("who cares") for the majority of the blogs, by the way :)) (no offense)

 
At 11:49, Blogger Chox said...

Hmmm...I guess when I say "hateful" I didn't actually think that person hates me, I meant the person was being unpleasant; basically, someone who doesn't understand "when you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Perhaps "hateful" wasn't the best word..."mildly annoying yet amusing" might have been better.

Also, I wanted to comment on something you said, "...people have become too monochrome in the USA, these people get all the attention." While I agree with you to a point, during the day I probably would not have noticed those particular characters doing their thing in that MUNI station. At that time, it's pretty crowded, but last night it was deserted, save for a few "colorful" folk hanging around. That's why I noticed them.

But when I am paying attention, even during the day, I always tend to see and notice things everyone else overlooks. It's why it would take me an hour to walk to school as a kid, when it should have taken less than 15 minutes.

 
At 12:46, Blogger Jase said...

If the SF Metro is like cable TV, the New York subway is like pay-per-view - porn included.

 

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