Thanksgiving Is Ruined
July 11, 2007
A month or two ago, I boarded a crowded vehicle of public transportation and rushed to sit in the only available seat.
The seat was next to a guy who looked shabby, unwashed and borderline homeless. I figured that everyone else was too snobby to sit next to him.
I sat down. He was a little fragrant. I got out a book and started to read.
Pretty soon, I heard what sounded like my neighbor, muttering to himself. I tried to ignore his voice. Then the following words of his caught my attention:
Well, the body was right there. I was right there next to him.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that the guy was not talking to himself at all. He talked into a small cellphone.
I only pretended to keep reading. Instead, I started intently to eavesdrop.
No, I already saw him.
I stopped listening only because my stop came. Rarely have I ever needed as strongly to exert mysef to stand up, as I did that evening.
The incident gave me a lot to wonder about afterward. Among many other things, a small part of me wondered if the incident could not be transformed into a folksy little life lesson, like "Always sit next to the homeless person on public transportation."
A larger part of me decided that such an uptight maneuver would be pretty condescending and nauseating, and considered the encounter (and my fellow passenger's life) sufficently awe-inspiring in its own right, without moralistic commentary from me.
As the weeks passed by, however, I thought and wondered about the encounter less and less. It lost its urgency. The part of me grew that considered a little sermon about it to be too showy and an offensive idea. The same part of me felt that to turn the incident into a blog post would be even worse.
So the purpose of this post is simply to announce that I have decided not to blog about the encounter.