Field Report: January 6, 2014

Although my life is currently like a Danielle Steel reject novel, I do manage to see outside my current state of gloom to appreciate the finer, and more ridiculous, aspects of life.  Today was my first day back at work after the M Incident and its subsequent follies, so it seems to ring true that the MAX rides would be extra special.  That is where today’s Field Report comes into play.

Green Line, boarded at Clackamas Town Center, approximately 9:30 am.

I get to the MAX station with just a few minutes to spare.  I board the train behind a good-looking man, probably in his late 30s.  He is dressed casually, but nice, and carrying a backpack.  I figured he was perhaps a student.  We sit across from each other and our eyes meet.  He nodes his head and says with a smile:  “Good morning, how you doin’ today?”   I smile back. “I’m doing pretty good, how about yourself?”  (I figured he didn’t want the real story of well my life is in shambles because I recently lost a baby and a relationship and I’m returning to a job that I hate and, HEY, want to hear about all my ex-boyfriends and how this one time my dad left and now I have a step dad a new dad that won’t leave alone and oh yeah there was this one time I had cancer and now I’m worried no one will love me.  WILL YOU LOVE ME?!)


We both smiled again and I reached in to pull out my book.  Now that I’m no longer stalking my ex on perusing Facebook and Twitter every five minutes, I have time to do things like actually read a book.  The train started and I was transported into the world of Chelsea Cain and Detective Archie Sheridan.  Just as Archie is describing the grisly murder scene of a poor man who had been tortured and skinned alive at Mt. Tabor Park, I hear the aforementioned man burst into laughter.  I look up and turn in the direction he is looking.  I see a transit fare inspector standing at the doors, yelling to someone outside, “Get back on the train! I can’t hold it for you!”  Another woman starts to laugh.  “That girl ran off to buy a fare and left her things!”  Turns out, this girl bolted off the train to buy a ticket when she saw the fare checker board, but unfortunately she left her things in the seat.  The train started to move.  “Well I guess she ain’t gonna get her stuff back,” someone says.  The fare checker shakes his head and continues writing in his notepad.  I chuckle to myself and go back to Mt. Tabor and the description of coagulated blood.

The train makes its way to Gateway Transit Center, and the man across from me gathers his things.   My assessment of his student status was incorrect, as he was getting off before the PSU stop.  He stood up and started walking towards the doors, and that’s when my face scrunched up.  His pants were belted strategically just under the curve of his derriere.  Somehow I missed this when we boarded the train.  I could now see half his boxer shorts.

Why do men do this?   I don’t need to see the outline of your butt cheeks through your drawers.  Why did that ever become a thing?

Nothing quite like the disappointment of seeing an otherwise attractive man do something so completely unattractive.  It’s the same as when a good-looking man pops his collar, or tries to grow facial hair that is completely unbecoming.  Or even worse, shaves his beard and grows a mustache.  I don’t care that it’s for Movember.  Unless you are actually raising money, please keep your hot sexy man beard.  With that ‘stache, you look like you should be peddling candy in your windowless van.  You look like you should be smoking outside of a dingy strip club.  You look like you should be cruising for children outside a Chuck E Cheese.  You look like an extra from a 70s B Movie.

Yes, I know I cut my hair into a pixie cut.  That is neither here nor there.  I don’t look like a boy.  I’m growing it out.  I’m still sexy.  (Right?).

I digress.

The rest of the ride was without incident, except for the man with the terrible ringtone that was turned up much too high on his phone.  I saw him struggle to turn it off, failing miserably.  “Na naaa nana aaaa nna ananan boom boom boom boom chickachickachickachicak nanannannanan boom” the phone blared.  His face turned red and I grew impatient.  How hard is it to turn off a ringer?  Seriously.  You’re a grown ass man.  Learn to operate your electronic devices.  Finally it ended and I returned to my book.

I must say that it was nice to see a fare checker, and I felt smugly validated showing him my MAX pass.  Yes, Mr. Trimet Official, I’m a good citizen.  I don’t ride the train for free.  Except for that one time, but just like my haircut, that’s neither here nor there.

My train arrived at my destination at approximately 10:00 am, thus ending my morning commute.  I sadly put my book away and headed for the cafeteria to buy the largest coffee they sell.  I sure as hell was going to need it.

Green Line, boarded at NE 7th Ave, approximately 3:30 PM.

I was exhausted and left work early.  I had my first yoga class in a while and wanted to get there early.  Also, I figured if I left before 4:00, the train wouldn’t be a shit show when I boarded.  I was wrong.

There were these fun snippets of conversation I heard, as follows:

Meth Mouth Lady: “Aww, hey you!  Oh yeah, things are alright.  Blah Blah Blah.  Yak Yak Yak.  Oh, yeah, my dad is drunk and I’m gonna go have dinner with him.  He’s REAL drunk.  Yeah.  I hope he pays!  My boyfriend is in Medford and I don’t want to deal with his bitch of a sister so I took my things and left.  Told him, ‘I ain’t stayin’ with her when you’re gone!’  Now I’m seeing my drunk dad.”

Random man behind me: “Did you know Oregon State Hospital is not a hospital?  You know how I know that?  ‘Cause I was just there for three months.”

The kid in front of me with his headphones on:  No conversation to report, but he almost stuck his gum to the bicycle of the man sitting in front of us.  He hesitated, then put his gum in his pocket.  In his pocket.

And the best story of the day:

From the time I arrived on the train, there was a person with their back to me chatting up a woman and her kid.  It was a female voice, so imagine my surprise when a very mannish man turned around to face me.  I did my best to avoid his gaze, but as the train got emptier, he managed to get closer and closer to me.  And he stared.  Hard.  I stared hard as well, right out into the window, counting how many stops there were until we got to the end of the line.  Closer he inched.  I finally looked over and made eye contact.  It was a freak show moment, consisting of me waiting for him to look away, realizing he wasn’t going to, and then me accepting defeat and looking back out the window.

I officially relinquish my creeper/stalker status from my last entry and bestow it upon this man.

I was wondering what I would do if he started to follow me when we got off the train, and then I noticed him starting at my shoes.  Suddenly, he backed away and walked to the other end of the standing platform.  As if something about my black hooker nice new boots made him decide that he wasn’t going to kidnap me and take my body to Mt. Tabor and skin me alive with my gloves stuffed in my mouth to muffle my screams.  Yet again I escaped death by the hands of a MAX serial killer.

I should stop reading Chelsea Cain books.

I walked freely to my car without any incident, except for the fact that there looked to have been a scuffle involving somebody’s leftovers.  Tupperware containers, salad fixins, and a big pile of spaghetti were strewn on the stairs and along the causeway into the parking garage.

Keepin’ in classy, Clackamas.  At least we now have a yoga studio.


Until next time ~ B


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