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Tag Archives: people

People Who Are on the Amtrak at 6:55am Going to New York City

I am on the Amtrak at 6:55am going to New York City. I think we can all agree that’s hellaciously early. FINE, not all of you can agree with that. Some of you get up that early daily for whatever reason. Milking cows, maybe. Going to school or work. Tending to children.

Me, I get up between 6 and 6:30 every morning, and when I can, I sleep later. I don’t like waking up early. Never have. Left to my own devices, my internal clock wants me to sleep from about 1am to 9am daily. Unfortunately, this is not how the world works, so I’m forced to work against what I was given at birth. Yawn.

However, there are advantages to taking the train this early in the morning. You get to see all sorts of people.

What sorts of people, you might ask?

Well, it’s nice you asked, because I will TELL you.

THE PEOPLE YOU SEE ON AN EARLY-MORNING AMTRAK TO THE CITY

  • LOUD BUSINESSMAN – Loud Businessman is very important. He also wants to make sure you know just HOW important. So he gets on his cell phone the minute he enters the station and doesn’t get off until…well, I don’t think he gets off ever. As we speak, Loud Businessman is on his cell phone berating someone. “I WILL BE THERE IN A COUPLE OF HOURS! THAT CAN WAIT TIL I ARRIVE! NO, DO NOT SELL ALL THE ORANGE JUICE SHARES!” (I made that part up for those of you who love Trading Places as much as I do.) “THOSE WERE ON THE DESK, CHECK THE DESK! BUY BUY BUY! SELL SELL SELL! I AM IMPORTANT! ARE YOU THERE?! ARE YOU *THERE!?!?!?!*” It’s Loud Businessman’s world. We just live in it, and are forced to be in his earspace.

    MUY IMPORTANTE!

    MUY IMPORTANTE!

  • GUY WITH THE CROUP – it is a little-known fact that, no matter where I sit, I will end up next to someone with some sort of wasting disease. Right in back of me is someone who is hacking up a lung. I am breathing his air, therefore, in 24-48 hours, I will probably have TB and have to go to a sanitorium. That’ll be fun, right? Right. (Also, if you’re on public transportion, it’s nice to cover your mouth when you cough. Just saying.) Also, update, he is now sneezing repeatedly, and seems to be purposely doing it in the space between the seats so it showers me. How thoughtful.

    "Hmm. 104 degrees. I think I'll go on mass transportation."

    “Hmm. 104 degrees. I think I’ll go on mass transportation.”

  • GUY WHO IS RAPPING – there’s a guy who’s listening to music and he’s totally rocking out and every once and a while comes out with some rap lyrics ALMOST under his breath, but not quite. He’s actually not as bothersome as the other two people. He’s at least TRYING to be quiet. Whenever he bursts out into song, he looks really embarrassed about it. I get it. Sometimes I can’t control the mad beatz in my head, either, yo.
  • WOMAN WHO I THINK IS POSSIBLY CRAZY – luckily, she ended up in another car, but in the station, there was a woman who was ducking and weaving and talking to herself and batting at invisible flies. Now, listen, I am used to this on public transportation because I was without a car for years (and people with mental problems are drawn to me – I think I project a safe vibe or something, or maybe they think I’m a kindred soul.) But Amtrak is kind of pricey. So really crazy people aren’t always on it. So, I guess congrats, crazy lady, for having enough money for nice transportation?
  • PEOPLE WHO THINK GETTING ON/OFF THE TRAIN TWO SECONDS BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE WILL GIVE THEM A MAGIC SEAT – people will seriously cut a bitch to get in line here on Amtrak. Thing is, if a train’s crowded, getting on early doesn’t make you any more apt to get a window seat than someone who got on later. Everyone wants a window seat; if the train comes from somewhere else, those window seats are probably all taken, and you’re sitting on the aisle. End of story. Please don’t shove. It’s so early in the morning. My reflexes aren’t even kicked in yet. I’m going to go over like a ninepin.
  • PEOPLE EATING SMELLY FOODS – there is always at least one person eating something fishy, spicy, sour, or fermented. I guarantee you this. Isn’t rule #1 of being a human being not to eat something that’s fragrant around other humans in a confined space? Because I don’t know about you, but I don’t like gagging on your scents for an entire train trip. Bad enough that I can smell the bathroom from where I’m sitting. Blergh.
  • SOMEONE WHO IS SNORING LOUDLY – listen, on the second train, that’s going to be me. I’m exhausted, and the gentle motion of the train makes me sleepy. The last long-distance train I took, I conked out about ten minutes in. I woke up and the WHOLE TRAIN CAR was GLARING at me. My throat hurt, which means I was snoring. (Or maybe sleep-talking; I do that, too.) I was all, “mutter mutter sorry” and then read for the rest of the trip. Can’t help it, folks, blame Amy’s Dad; that’s where the snoring gene comes from. I know it’s unsexy and unladylike. Can’t even help it.

Getting sleepy, jellybeans. Think I’ll try for a little shuteye. Think Loud Businessman can compete with my snoring?

Let’s find out, shall we?

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I can’t stand you at all (you drive me insane); why won’t you go away?

I try very, very hard not to hate people.

I’m not talking about disliking people. I think it’s human nature to dislike certain people. We can’t all click. There are just some people you don’t like, and you can’t force yourself to like them.

The guy who interrupts you every time you talk because he seems physically incapable of listening. The guy who almost seems Tourettesian in his random bursts of profanity and who just STARES all the time, and you’re not quite comfortable being around him in any capacity. The guy who walks past you pulling too hard on his adorable dog’s leash in frustration, and the poor dog is cowering away. The woman whose self-esteem is at such a low that she feels the need to talk in a baby voice and lean over every single man she comes across to get some, any, all the attention in the room.

You don’t have to like these people (and I’d be surprised if you did, honestly) but you don’t HATE them. I mean, probably you don’t. You most likely see them as minor annoyances, at best. Like gnats.

As I’ve aged, I’ve apparently acquired this annoying tendency to empathize with everyone – even the most annoying human beings. It doesn’t make them much easier to deal with, but it does tend to make my reactions to them a little less huffy and eye-rolly.

“She probably has had a really hard life,” I’ll think about the woman who’s yelling at her child in the grocery store. Or, “I bet she didn’t get paid enough attention when she was a child,” for the woman who constantly puts emo statuses up on Facebook to the point I need to hide her just to maintain my sanity.

It doesn’t always work. Just ask my mother, or friend K. They know me well, and they know my reactions to things.

“You can’t hide it when someone’s annoying you,” Mom said recently. “You might THINK you’re being good about it, but that person knows. Trust me.”

She told me once I had a glass face. Anything I’m feeling is clearly visible. I think it goes hand-in-hand with wearing your heart on your sleeve, which is another thing I’m sadly guilty of. If I love you, you’re aware of it. I can’t hide it any more than I can hide being female, brunette, or American. I could TRY – I could wear a costume, dye my hair, affect an accent – but you’d know it was fake.

Friend K. thinks it’s hilarious, honestly. (I adore friend K.) “People need to know to stay away from you when you’ve got that face on,” she said once at the theater. I looked askance at her. “The Back-the-Hell-Up face. It’s such an Amy face. I don’t understand how anyone can see that face and not immediately just walk right away apologizing. But they just keep talking! As if all is ok! When it clearly isn’t!”

As close of an approximation to my "eff off and die" face as I can muster at bedtime during a heatwave.

As close of an approximation to my “eff off and die” face as I can muster at bedtime during a heatwave.

So apparently I have a face, when I’m annoyed. I suppose I could try to control it, but I think I’d look like someone raised by gorillas trying to learn how humans smile. It wouldn’t fit on my face-area well.

(Strangely, if it matters, I CAN pretend I’m not annoyed. I call it acting the benign fool; a friend and I were discussing it recently and he told me knew it as being dumb and agreeable. What you want to do is act like one of Shakespeare’s fools – foolish in front of people, wise when you’re on your own. And you want no one to realize you’re acting. Here, I’ll give you a lesson. Let’s say you can’t stand your in-laws, but you know if you’re rude to them, it’s going to raise hell at home. So you need to pretend you’re ok with them. But you can’t STAND them. I mean, maybe you don’t HATE them, but they annoy you. So here’s what you do: act like you haven’t ever had a deep thought in your life. Not stupid; just a touch vapid. Be funny, but not desperate for laughs. Laugh at their jokes, even if they’re foolish. Have bright, happy, engaged eyes. Tell stories that are fun, and light, and topical. Avoid topics that matter. Keep this up for the duration. You will feel your soul dying; just keep counting down the minutes until it’s over. When you leave, congratulate yourself. Because it means you won. They have no idea who you are, they have no idea you can’t stand them, and you’ve retained the peace at home. Beware, though – the people who love your dumb-and-agreeableness want you to come back frequently and often. You’re just that much fun to be around. I tell you this from experience. The fact that a., they weren’t able to see through your charade and b., they like the fake you more than the real you…it’s a little disheartening, to be honest.)

Here is your basic benign fool face. If you look closely, you can see my soul struggling for life behind my eyes.

Here is your basic benign fool face. If you look closely, you can see my soul struggling for life behind my eyes.

Anyway, Tangent McGee, as I said. I really, really try not to hate people. First, it’s just bad karma. Second, what the hell good does it do? None. You don’t accomplish anything with it. Mostly it just gives you a stomachache. Plus it totally gives that person power over you. Because they live in your head. Like, all the time. Like, ALL the damn time. I don’t want to spend more time thinking about the people I hate than the people I love.

Sometimes, though, I fail miserably.

I’m not talking about Tom Cruise (he’s the worst, but I don’t hate him.) I’m not talking about that terrible Westboro Baptist Church wackadoodle (he’s the devil, but I don’t hate him. I don’t know him, and he hasn’t directly injured someone I love, so I can’t hate him. I wouldn’t mind if he fell in a really deep hole and then someone filled in the hole with cement, though. I mean, by accident. Like, they just happened to be filling in holes with cement, and that was one of the holes, and they were all “Just doing my job!” and WHOOPS! he got buried alive in all the cement.)

There are RULES to hating. I have to either know the person and they hurt me SO DEEPLY there’s no turning back, or they have to have injured someone I love so deeply that I don’t need to know them to hate them. And I have to have thought about it a lot. I can’t just offhand-hate someone. I mean, it’s a pretty serious thing, this hating.

Luckily, there are only a handful of people I really, truly hate.

And I can assure you, they’ve done sincerely terrible things. Which I will not go into. Because I am most sincerely attempting to pretend they don’t exist. With varying results.

(Side note: If you’re thinking, “ZOMG, is it ME? Is Amy talking about ME?” No. I’m not. Because a., if you care at all if I’m talking about you, you’re not one of the people I hate – the people I hate, I can assure you, hate me back, it is totally a mutual-hatred thing – b., I’m about 99% sure none of the people I hate read my blog. Or, well, no, thinking about it, two of them might, because they might like to keep an eye on their enemy. But they don’t comment or anything. They just lurk. I’d poison-dart-frog blow-dart them through the blog if I could, but sadly, science has not yet made that a thing. And c., if I’ve spoken to you in any capacity in the last year or so, you’re not one of those people. Because, like I said, I’m trying very hard to pretend these people don’t exist, and it takes a good long time to go from “pretty annoying” to “ZOMG EFF OFF AND DIE.”)

I know there are ways you are supposed to forgive people who have harmed you. By like meditating or doing calming things like, I don’t know, breathing in and out in a nice way, not like panting or something, because that’d be off-putting. Or maybe whenever you have hate-thoughts, replacing them with friendly thoughts like “I sure did like her hair, right before she tore my heart out with her sharp stabby talons.” Or “I guess I remember those really good times before he did that thing that, in retrospect, he should have been locked up for, had I had the presence of mind to call the cops.”

If I tried this shit I'd fall ass-over-teakettle off that rock.

If I tried this shit I’d fall ass-over-teakettle off that rock.

I don’t care for meditation because it seems difficult and my brain’s just so damn busy I can’t imagine the amount of work it would take to turn it off, and calming breaths seem like some sort of wacky hoodoo. And the hatey thoughts always replace the past-friendly thoughts, if there were past-friendly thoughts for that person there to begin with.

As I said, I try very hard not to hate people. It’s pointless and it’s self-destructive and it makes me yell at my laptop if I come across them online. Naughty cusses are said. Sometimes creative ones, sticking together many cusses to make one very long cuss that probably has the power of all those cusses COMBINED. It’s like the Justice League of cusses.

I think the only solution here is, people, stop being hurtful towards me. Like, little hurts I can get over. (Or, sometimes big ones. My heart is surprisingly more rubbery than one would think, and I get more forgiving as I age. It’s a little-known fact of adulthood. It also upsets Dad. “STOP FORGIVING PEOPLE!” Dad shouts. “It’s like if someone stole from you, and then you invited them BACK into the HOUSE to steal from you AGAIN!” And I say, “Oh, Dad. You know I have nothing worth stealing except Dumbcat, and they’d just bring him back once he started leaping on their spleen at 2am and vomiting cat food on their good rug.” Dad doesn’t believe in forgiveness. Once you are dead to Dad, you are dead to him FOR! EV! ER! And there are many ways to be dead to Dad, from injuring him, to injuring his loved ones, to cutting him off in traffic that one time in 1971. I find that a very Christian attitude, don’t you?)

Or, I suppose, I could get a lobotomy.

Give me some wisdom, here, people. Are people dead to you forever? Can you just move on from things? Have you gotten a lobotomy and, if so, do you have a doctor you recommend? Did someone really, really piss you off one time and you can’t get over it? Or just tell me a story. It’s hot, and I’m feeling hatey, and I don’t feel I can be overly demanding.

Here is a song about hating people courtesy of my lovely blogging friend Alice. She makes me happy. So does this song.

And for added goodness, there’s this one, which makes me giggle because it’s just so damn upbeat.


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