Friday, February 16, 2007

one precious seat

Last night's ride home was pretty miserable. It was one of those situations where those waiting on the platform squeezed themselves in one by one, until the last person is smashed against the door; where you have to breath with your mouth instead of your nose just to void smelling the sweat and other funky scents next to you.

Everyone was hoping some people would get off at West Oakland, but only one passenger got off on my side of the train. Everyone surrounding that empty seat sort of looked at each other, no one wanted to be the "rude" one and claim the seat. The oldest of the passenger shook his head-- he didn't want to sit down. The other passengers nearby, three females, also hesitated. One female was overweight. I personally thought from afar the seat should have gone to her, but no one wanted to suggest that. 8 seconds must have past since the seat emptied, a long time considering most people usually claim an empty seat within 1 second.

Finally, one of the three women asked an elderly but healthy-looking woman about 8 feet away from her if she wanted to sit down. The elderly woman said "Sure, thank you." As she walked over towards the seat, we heard a frantic man yelling from the opposite side of the train.

The man yelled, "Excuse me, make way, watch out, coming through, watch it" as he literally PUSHED people out of the way to walk over to this one empty seat. He was soaked with sweat, his hair was wet and dripping with sweat, his jeans were more brown than blue, and his shoes looked like they've been soaked in mud. As he shoved people around in the crowded train, people tripped, dropped their computer bags, or lost their balance. Each step he took, he wiped off the sweat dripping on his face with his hands. As he got closer, he yelled and pointed, "I'm taking THAT seat right there!" as the elderly woman was about to sit down.

As the rest of us saw that, people were just disgusted by that man, both his actions and his appearance. As he sat down, he breathed loudly, "Ahh.....hurrrrr....ahhhh.....hurrrr......" and pulled up his drenched and dirty shirt to wipe down his face, revealing his upper body.

I wasn't as bothered by him taking the seat (hey, no one else wanted it bad enough), but more so his unkept appearance. Luckily, he got off at MacArthur, and so did half of the train. I was able to breath a little bit easier after that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! Why didn't anyone say anything to this a**hole of man? Those seats are meant for the elderly and handicapped. Some people in our society have no manners at all.