Gothic Guy gets on the train at Franklin, 7:20 am. Full Gothic regalia: black everything, big ol' boots, chains, studs, eye-shadow, at least half a bottle of cheap cologne.
Now that's freaky.
(I had encountered Gothic Guy on the train once before--when he boarded with several other people--and I now remembered the smell. He had been low on my suspect list then. But now, it was clear that the offending aroma entered the train with him.)
Cologne? Enough of it to make me instantly and fully sympathetic to anyone with elevated olfactory sensitivity. It almost knocked me over; it was nauseating; it was a wall of pointed, stinging assault on my nose, throat and eyes. Maybe that's the point. Visually, the Gothic look is old hat, co-opted and commercialized. It's lost its shock value, so go for the nose instead of the eyes.
I was only too glad to let him get off ahead of me and dash to catch a bus, chains and things clanking. I happily waited for the next one, taking what Lamaze coaches call "deep cleansing breaths" of downtown air. It took a lot of air to clear the system. Maybe this is what Teen 2 meantbelow. Maybe she was kissing Gothic Guy.
[Young woman behind me near Northrop Mall begins to talk on her phone:]
"Finally. I've been trying to get you for days. Where have you been?"
"Well yes, you are now, but where were you?"
"I was really worried. Don't do that again."
[I turn off to enter a building as she moves out of range]
Two boys share a seat
and a set of earbuds,
twin tones gone mono.
Very crowded train at Metrodome East--just one car at 4:59 pm.
Group of teenagers talking much louder than necessary.
Teen 2: When I kiss you my nose smells weird.
Teen 1: Say what?
Teen 2: My nose. When I kiss you it smells weird.
Teen 1: That's wack.
[very brief pasue]
Teen 3: Nobody ever does that wall.
Teen 1: What wall?
Teen 3 That one. No one ever does that.
Teen 1: Yeah they do.
Teen 3: It's clean....
Teen 1: Joe, you peep the new stuff up here?"
Joe's girlfriend, AKA Teen 2: "Dude, that's so wack."
[very brief pause]
Teen 1: Is it gonna be this crowded all the way to the Mall?
Me [exiting, not quite loud enough]: That's wack. All these people who look like 9-to-5 types commuting home from downtown are really mall rats in disguise.
Somebody calling himself the Naked Economist has an article that lays bare the underpriced cost of driving in the U.S.. That's right--underpriced, even at $3.00 per gallon.
Don't know about "Congestion-pricing" as the be-all and end-all of traffic jams, however. For instance, replace his hypothetical $14.00 an hour plumbing assistant with a a $5.15 per hour retail worker, and the math for Lexus Lanes isn't as compelling.