Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Half-naked man on the light-rail line

Yesterday I was riding the light-rail train into downtown
when a chubby fellow near the front of the car began to
disrobe. He took off his winter jacket, his sweater, his
shirt, and his undershirt and he laid all these down on his
seat. Then, naked to the waist, he began to wander the
car as he mumbled avidly to himself. Public-transport-
ation crazies are nothing new to me, but this guy didn’t
give off that vibe. He looked like your everyday middle-
manager, only topless and jabbering in the midst of a
few dozen strangers. And he didn’t like it when the old
ladies I was riding with whispered about him: “You stop
talking!” he grunted at them, “Stop talking you!”. For a
moment, I thought he was going to attack them, but just
then the pre-recorded voice came on and announced the
Nicollet Avenue stop. The bare-chested man looked up,
returned to his pile of clothes, and carefully put them all
back on before the doors slid open. Then he darted out
and disappeared into the lunch-hour crowds.