I guess I’m not the only one feeling the affects of the winter blahs because this morning on my ride into work I was attacked by a complete stranger.
I took the bus into Alewife (too cold to brave the walk) on time and finding the train mostly empty, settled into a clean seat to read my book. I guess passengers continued to stream in, until after 10 minutes or so of waiting, when the conductor announced the train on the opposite track would be leaving the station first. I hadn’t noticed a large crowd gathering, but as I grabbed my stuff and crossed to the other track people were running ahead in a mass to get good seats. Fortunately, I somehow popped in through an door with an empty seat right beside it. Feeling lucky, I inspected the seat for gum, and was turning around to sit when suddenly a woman rushed in UNDERNEATH ME and sat in the seat! She gave me a shove with her arm and hate lasers shot out of eyes. I said something like “Whoa!” and backed away before she could whip out a knife. She continued to stare at me, like a ferrell animal ready to bite. The odd thing was the train car still had plenty of open seats – including two directly beside the one she’d just pushed me for.
Now, I’m not going to say I’ve never encountered hostility over an open seat on a train, but 8am is a little early in the day for violence. And we’re talking about the first stop on the train here, with plenty of still open seats. This is not Park Street 5:30pm with the weekly medical emergency/broken train/schedule shenanigans; there’s no call for that kind of anger. Besides, it’s Friday. Whatever happened to TGIF?
So I ended up opting out of not just that car, but that whole train. Who knows what she’d do by the time we got to Harvard Square and the car was really packed? There's a "medical emergency" or sure. Instead I went back over to the other, now empty, train for a more comfortable ride and a few extra minutes with my book. My heart rate was back to normal by the time we reached Davis, and the rest of my commute was easy peasy, but I still find it really disturbing that she had the nerve to shove me. What gets into people?