Stream of Consciousness

Friday, March 23, 2007

If every day were like this, maybe I wouldn't need earphones.

I have these earphones that I use to listen to music while taking the train to work. I say "have" in a pretty loose word sense because at the moment I still possess them, but they are for the most part unusable now and will soon be discarded. I'm actually not sure why I'm even holding on to them. When they were functional, they actually worked surprisingly well, considering I paid about two dollars for them at a retail store in a mall. They're the in-ear type but not conventionally; the part inserted into the ear is actually a narrow tube with a foam piece wrapped around it to conform to the shape of the orifice, blocking outside noise and providing better sound. The earphones came equipped with spare foam cushions, all of which I've exhausted and now the right earpiece is missing one. I was at one point just using one side, but it wasn't the same. Really, I think I was more about blocking out the bustle than hearing the music.

For the past couple days on the train I've gone without earphones, enduring the clamor and prattle. This morning it's cloudy, barely raining. I take off for the train and board. At the Clayton stop I see a couple get on and sit right across from me. The woman struggles a bit pushing a stroller onto the train. The child in the stroller looks like he could be on the threshold of being too old to be strolled, maybe it's just the glasses.

Glasses? I don't think I've seen a child that small with glasses before. I haven't been to an optometrist in a long time, maybe there's been some major advances in that field to prescribe glasses to an infant. He can barely talk, I doubt he can read yet. Maybe they're purely cosmetic. It is pretty cute. I'm even thinking about remarking about how cute this little child looks with his thin-frame eyewear until I hear "the black man gets a five hundred dollar fine" being announced by who appears to be the child's father.

Before he even said that I saw him and thought he looked a bit Spike Leeish with his light goatee, thick glasses, baseball cap with the bill flipped up and black leather jacket. Even his declaration sounded like it could have been Spike's sound byte. He goes on, discussing with his wife this fine or ticket or whatever. They must have just come from the court building in Clayton.

There's a faint series of light coughs of the weeping variety coming from the back of the car. The doors open and a man gets on with one of those 1700s style three corner hats, like you might see in a Ben Franklin museum or some New England colony reenactment. Where do you even get those? He sort of hunched over and carried an old metal lunchbox. Through the noise I can hear more bits Spike Lee's ranting, something about how you can't trust the communists or commoners or something. "Just like in Scarface." Maybe I should watch that just so I can figure out what he's talking about. They get off at the Central West End stop. The rain's picked up.

I exit the train at Union Station and begin a rainy trek into work. Seems like the beginnings of a crappy day, but I really don't mind it that much, even when I get the full-on soaking from a car driving by. At least it's not cold out.


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