I had already passed him and was just starting to cross the street when he finished his wind-up and finally spoke, slowly, with a sort of measured rhythm, his voice a mixture of sand and phlegm: "Guuuuuuys can y' help me out, pleaaaase." Then, I guess, he went back into his rotation. I was across the street when I faintly heard him repeat his mantra.
ON THE TRAIN, I was settling into a seat when I heard a female voice say, "Hey, I read your book." It sounded like the kind of casual comment that one friend would make to another over lunch. Across the aisle from me, a guy looked around, identified the speaker behind him and, to his surprise, realized he was the one being addressed. In his lap he had a copy of Who Moved My Cheese? I thought that book was over years ago, and now I'm not sure if I'm glad of its longevity or not. They chatted for a while, then each went back into their own train-riding world.
Later, when the train had cleared out a bit, I looked around at the people still near me. The girl, wearing a pink Sox cap, was leaning against the window, playing with her phone. The guy was still reading. I was sort of cheering for him to finish the book before the end of the train ride, but as we were pulling into my station, he put a bookmark in, about three pages from the end.
There was no particular point to this story, except that intercommuter interaction of this sort is rare, and therefore strikes me as faintly remarkable.
AS I WAS LEAVING the train, I spotted what toxicfur has already noted, that the Herald headline of the day was COPS GRILL BAR TOUGH. There's something perfectly Heraldian about this phrase, in that every word is subject to multiple interpretations. It can be rearranged or repunctuated to serve for several alternate stories:
- TOUGH BAR COPS GRILL (inter-bar rivalry in bad neighborhood leads to theft of cooking equipment)
- COPS GRILL, BAR TOUGH (exclusive police barbecue event prohibits bully from attending)
- TOUGH COP'S BAR & GRILL (retired law enforcement official opens dining establishment).
AND NOW, COOKIES.
On Friday, I ran into a troop of Girl Scouts selling cookies in the T station. I bought a box of Thin Mints and a box of what I'll continue to call Samoas even though the box says Caramel deLites. The GSC FAQ confirms that when it comes to Girl Scout Cookies, my choices are indeed, all facts and analysis.
I put them in the fridge when I got home, because experience has shown that melted Thin Mints are a Bad Thing. And anyway, it's my feeling that there are few things that are better than cold chocolate (one of those things may be hot chocolate). Finished off a pint of ice cream with D the other night with some Thin Mints on the side.
This morning, outside the train station, there was someone handing out Quaker Oats Breakfast Cookies. J had been talking as we walked out of the station about how her week was off to a bad start, when we were handed cookies and her day immediately improved. I think it was more the idea of a cookie gift than anything else, really. It was oatmeal raisin, and a sort of bland specimen of its type, I thought.
WENT TO D'S PARENTS' for a joint birthday dinner, D's and mine: lasagna followed by huge slices of chocolate cake. Half the cake was left as we were finishing up our coffee, and D's stepmom got up to wrap some of it up for us. D and I exchanged glances, and D's dad caught our look. "Do you not want the cake?" he asked.
D explained that a few weeks ago, when my family was doing a joint birthday dinner (mine and my sister's), they were wrapping up my portion of the cake to take home when D, for some reason, kind of flipped out. "No! We don't want any cake. We don't like cake!" I protested that he hadn't even tried any (we had done cake way before dinner and he'd missed out on that part of the festivities) and that it had been good, but he had staked out his position, and didn't budge. We left all the cake with my sister.
Later that week at work, we had chocolate cake for my birthday. I took home the small leftover wedge, and D conceded that it wasn't bad. "The one at my sister's was better," I told him.
Anyway, we recounted this story, and D apologized for the incident (again), then D's parents laughed, and mock-insisted that we had to take the cake, whether we wanted it or not. We got home and I said to D, "You know, I didn't really want the cake."
"Oh, I thought it was good."
"OK," I said, "then you can have it." I think I have chocolate cake fatigue. Which strikes me as a petty thing to complain about -- would that all problems were this serious.
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