Monday, February 1, 2010, 1:00 PM on the E Line between Northeastern and Brigham Circle, Car # 3806B...
An outbound trolley had just passed as I my way to the Northeastern platform. I moved to sit down an enjoy my magazine while I waited for the next train but as I turned my head I saw it exit the tunnel headed my way. I didn't make it to the head of the platform where the sign says "First Car Stops Here" but the driver saw I was the only person around so he stopped right in front of me.
One passenger disembarked and a young lady ran up behind me from across the street. "After you," I said. Ladies first, after all.
The young lady took the first seat available but I headed down the car a bit, toward the second set of doors. The backwards facing single seat on the port side was empty and I headed for it, but on my way down the stairs I was struck that this was a remarkably dirty train.
I tried to read my magazine (the current New Yorker!) but I couldn't concentrate. I kept being distracted by the disheveled surroundings. I took out my notebook and this is what I recorded:
Tattered and scattered pages of the Metro newspaper like a hamster would leave behind if a hamster were the size of a person....sand and road salt everywhere...crumbs in three consistencies, five colors and six shades...one Hershey's Dark chocolate bar wrapper...one twisted rope of an individual serving Lay's potato chip bag (original flavor)...a Starbucks cup upside down and drooling light brown ichor...a phone card...a shred of cherry flavored Chap Stick wrapper...a golf pencil...a sheaf of lottery tickets uncurling on a bed of three discarded, scratched scratch-offs...wadded up tissues stained and held into their haphazard origami by earth toned, natural glues....a crumbled Chipotle Grill bag...a trail of Chipotle Grill napkins that led from the bag to the door....
The train arrived at Brigham Circle and I had to stop writing. I don't blame the MBTA for this state of affairs at this time of day. I'm looking at you, fellow citizen. Don't be a litterbug.