Oh what to do!? I know not. Riding Amtrak. I was looking forward to this all day and now it’s here and it’s terrible because I can’t believe I am sitting next to someone yammering away on her phone, which should come as no surprise. In hushed tones she speaks as if this would improve the situation. And I’m not even sitting on the aisle and she has a million bags blocking the way and I don’t want to interrupt her call but I can’t focus on anything except trying to change my focus which is the entire purpose of this post. I don’t mean to vent about people. That’s the last thing I would ever want to do. But if I keep typing I might stave off my growing hostility. Keep typing.
Finally she’s off the phone. And I tell her that it’s amazing but now I see her in an entirely new light. I see the world in an entirely new light when she’s off the phone. She should try it more often. Why not give it a try? How can I convince her of that? Maybe I’m not the right person to do the convincing. But who else is there? I look around the train, but everybody looks so busy. I’d feel rude interrupting someone to ask if they could help me in my mission.
What exactly is your mission (they might ask)?
I don’t think I have an answer. Maybe I’m not the right person to find my mission. How does one ever know?
That’s where you come in, I tell the woman during this brief lull in her cell phone conversations. She is genuinely flattered, she says. I refrain from saying “I didn’t mean that as a compliment” because that conveys a certain hostility I am trying to suppress. And she knows it. And she is not suppressing that knowledge. And I would be the last person to suppress it. Or the next to last person. It’s not what I’m here for. I just wanted to stare out the window on this night train from New York to Providence.