Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Exercise in Futility

Just another episode of the freakshow that is my daily commute.

It's my own fault. If I would just remember to put my ipod back into my bag when I get to the office in the morning instead of dropping it on my desk and then covering it with files, I wouldn't get involved with these things.

Two women sat facing me on the train coming home. They were sort of loud, but one of them was hauling a suitcase, which of course she left sitting in the aisle for people to trip over as they got on and off the train, so I figured they were just excited to see each other.

Suitcase Lady asked her friend what stop they were getting off at and her friend answered, Baldwin. Well, I have an uncontrollable urge to be helpful and am apparently Quite Stupid and have not learned yet that if I actually talk to People On The Train I usually wind up annoyed, so I spoke up and told them that this particular train does not stop at Baldwin.

Suitcase Lady's Friend looked at me and informed me that when she comes into the City she always takes the Babylon train to get home. I replied, yes, but this is an express train, after Jamaica it only stops at Babylon (which, for anyone who may not know, is really nowhere near Baldwin).

She said again that she always takes the Babylon train to get home, but she did it with this smug little smile and such an "I know better than you do even though you do appear to do this every single freaking day so why are you even talking to me?" look on her face that all I could really do was agree that this was, in fact a Babylon train and go right back to knitting Matthew's new sweater.

The conductor announced several times that the train would go express after Jamaica and even listed all the stations that the train would stop at (it was a short list - only three stations) but they didn't stop talking long enough to have heard anything.

I felt a little bit bad when I got off at Jamaica to change trains and left them sitting there, still talking, loudly. I sort of wonder how long it took them to finally get to Baldwin. I wonder if they're possibly sitting in the train station at Babylon right now. Then I think about the Smug Face and this woman's complete unwillingness to accept that someone might know something that she doesn't and I feel, well, not any less bad, but let's face it, sometimes you can only try to be so helpful before you have to let people learn things on their own.

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