One of the biggest adjustments my new job at BAC has brought (aside from the lack of personal Internet use and people who like me) is the commute. At TAC, I could roll out of bed at 8, get ready, and hop in the car for the thirty minute commute against traffic, while I laughed at the suckers driving to Boston stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Now, I’m one of those suckers.
After the trauma of the Red Line on Day One, I braved the commuter rail, which is actually fairly easy and way less painless than the regular train. My biggest problem so far is having two one dollar bills to shove in the little parking box, and not ripping them to shreds trying to shove them in there.
I think I take the Snobville Line, because no wants you to sit with them. I get on at the next to last stop, and there’s someone in every row when I step on the train. But they’re all two or three seat rows. The people in the two seaters throw their stuff or legs over the second seat and make no attempt to let you in. The ones in the three seaters will let you sit on the end, if there are any left. I walked through two cars to find a three seater with two empty seats the other day. On Friday I stood at a two seater with stuff on the second seat, and said “Excuse Me?” twice, before the guy said, “Oh, do you want to sit here?” No buddy, I just want to hang out standing in the aisle so your briefcase has a place to rest instead.
The commute home is way more entertaining. I leave work right at 5 and join the masses heading to South Station. Trying to go the opposite direction or even cross in front of the swarms of people would be like a salmon swimming upstream, and could cause bodily harm. So I just go with the flow. I ignore the people trying to shove a paper in my hands or get me to save the Earth, walk past the flower stand and promise to buy myself some one day soon, and head into the station to wait.
Everyone rushes into the station to sit and wait. They stare at the black board with the train times and track numbers like bookies waiting for the horse race results to be posted. And when their train comes up — off they go! Even though the tracks are posted a good ten minutes before the train departs, people walk or run, like the train will leave any second. Or maybe they’re just trying to score a good seat.
I usually end up at the window in a three seater, but make sure my crap only takes up seat #2, in case someone else needs a seat, which they never go. Sometimes I feel frisky and go to the top level of the train car. And I always put my ticket in the hole on the seat in front of me, like Hilary taught me so I’d look cool. I need to look cool at all times, you know.
So, non-driving commuting is, overall, decent. I get to relax and read, or listen to my iPod (they frown on the former when you’re driving, or so I’ve heard). Its also a great way to watch people and realize that you’re really not that crazy.