by the Accidental Commuter
Let me start off by saying that old people love me. Maybe adore is a more appropriate word. So this morning as I boarded Marta (I think it’s actually supposed to be in all caps because it’s an acronym but all caps make me feel like I’m shouting, so from here on out please accept my spelling liberty) I did a quick seat scope-out. Let’s face it, you don’t want to sit down next to the lady who looks like she wants to tell you all about her bladder infection and recent divorce. Out of the corner of my eye I could see an oldish woman gazing at me with a familiar look of admiration that says “that girl is old-fashioned yet going places.” I didn’t want to sit next to her, either.
The train is usually pretty empty when I get on since I’m so far out in the burbs. And it wasn’t really morning, it was more like after The View ended and I couldn’t put off going to class anymore. I found a seat in front of an innocuous-looking man of about thirty. I pulled out a textbook, started reading, and everything was cool. Until the couple from hell boarded.
You know those moments when someone is doing something terribly awkward or disturbing and you just know that surely they’ll recognize the inappropriateness of their behavior and stop? Multiply by two. It started out with a simple peck on the lips. Then two, then three, then eew. I could even hear that slurping “stirring macaroni and cheese” sound, as my college roommate used to call it. There was that train-wide feeling of “really?” as we all tried not to stare. I immediately thought of the old woman sitting next to the door and across the aisle from the couple. A few days ago on my way to school some guys got really loud and started swearing at each other and the man sitting in front of me stood up and shouted “hey y’all, there’s old people and stuff on here and they don’t need to be hearing your cussing and crap.” Where was that guy when I needed him? Innocuous Thirty Something behind me was no help at all.
I figured that surely they would get off at the Buckhead stop or maybe they were on their way to Atlantic Station to buy some faux fur and skinny jeans. That was my only saving grace. They were in their early twenties but nothing about them said “student,” no backpack, no books, no intelligence. We pulled into the Buckhead station. Nothing. Unless more sucking face counts as something. I guess that I have a little bit of a hang-up about PDA. I’m not usually a willing participant in anything beyond hand-holding and maybe a quick peck on the lips. When it comes to other people I can tolerate about as much as I can dish out. So at this point we’re just sitting at the Buckhead station watching young love in action. Then, because things like this just happen to me, the driver/conductor/engineer (whatever they call people who drive big electric trains) announces that we will continue moving but at a much slower pace because of some construction up ahead. Fab.
Now I feel really horrible posting about all of this after my partner in crime was accosted by a homeless man at the bus stop earlier this evening. The lusty youths from my morning commute eventually stopped being vomity and de-trained at Peachtree Center. But on a Skeeve Scale of one to ten these folks were about a nine and a half. Plus CCTGirl can (and should) legally pack heat. My story doesn’t have a moral, no one out there needs to be more aware of their surroundings because you never know when someone seated in front of you on the Marta is going to start making out. But today someone learned a little bit less about children’s early comprehension of syntax and a little bit more about what is wrong with the youth of Atlanta.