I do my best thinking on my commute. The bumpy bus ride through Chinatown makes me carsick, but the train is perfect place to just consider things.
I have a tiny tea-stained journal that I’ve started writing things down in. It’s mostly just nonsense because that seems to be all my brain can come up with early in the morning/late at night, but still. It might make sense one day.
Monday through Friday, I take the 7:27 bus from the corner outside my apartment to 4th and King, and then hop on the 8:14 train to Palo Alto.
There are just a few regulars on my commute from the Marina, to SOMA, to the start-up heart of Silicon Valley.
-The high school girl with hot pink hair, who always wears fishnets and beat-up Chucks.
-The schoolgirl in her uniform. She has a Ziploc bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos every morning, and she’s always on the phone with her mom. Her mom talks to her about boys, teachers, and the Jonas Brothers all the way from their house to the school, just to make sure she gets there safe and sound.
-The lawyer on my train who calls me “Yellow Shoes Girl.” Not a terribly unique nickname, but I like that he rides his bike to his office and actually noticed my patent Sperrys. He also has thick wire-rimmed glasses, which is an automatic sign of someone awesome — at least in my book.
-The lab kids on their way to Stanford, who always compare notes in hushed voices as we wind through the Peninsula. I’ll strain to overhear any kind of new discovery, but I never know what on Earth they’re talking about anyways.
I always wonder about them, and their lives outside of this completely wretched commute. Every now and then, I jot a little something down about them. They’ve become such characters to me.
Maybe it’s cowardly of me to not walk over and say hi. But I prefer this space. Knowing each other from a distance. And I take a little comfort in the hope that my daily head nod and (awkward) smile brightens their morning a bit.