Monday, April 27

Trying hard not to stare

It was a decent start to the new week, with the shuttle from Medford and then an M-3 single seat on the 6:56 from Ronkonkoma to Flatbush Avenue.  I’m really hoping there’ll be M-3’s on the 6:56 this week.  It actually seems to alternate from week to week, for reasons I don’t understand.  Perhaps something related to maintenance schedules.  Anyway, it was an easy ride on the 6:56, mostly spent reading.  The woman who always seems to spend a half-hour or more applying cosmetics sat across the aisle from me, but she was so busy with school lesson plans – for the 7- or 8-year olds she teaches, who surely don’t care about the state of her makeup – that she only was able to spend a few minutes on her face.  Hopefully the rug rats won’t scream in terror!  (Actually, she looks fine bare-faced).  What didn’t look quite so fine was a 50ish woman who was standing across from me on the 5 train from Atlantic to Fulton.  One of her ears was severely deformed, basically just a few fleshy protrusions with no “ear-like” character.  It created an awkward situation for me because of course it would’ve been greatly impolite to have stared, but it was very hard not to stare.  I had to make a conscious effort to look elsewhere.

I got to Penn pretty quickly after work, via a crowded 3 from Fulton.  As I was walking through the main LIRR concourse, not far from the McDonald’s, a skell asked me for money so he could get a “double cheeseburger.”  Say what?  I’m sorry, that’s being rather pushy.  If you’re going to pass the hat, actually a battered paper coffee cup in his case, you ought to be satisfied with a single hamburger.  Or something else from the Dollar Menu.  I got the 5:22 to Ronkonkoma, which didn’t seem too crowded when the doors first opened but which quickly filled up and was packed by the time we got underway.  In the mid-consist car where I sat, I saw what must’ve been one of the longest Baby Elephant Walks ever seen on a non-summer-Friday train.  An older woman sat next to me, and while she spent most of the trip on her cell phone she didn’t talk too loudly and my iPod drowned out the chatter.  It was a nice ride indeed, for not only were there no delays, but I also got an all-time high score on Tetris: 137,251 to be precise, almost 20,000 in excess of my previous high.  While waiting for the shuttle at Ronkonkoma I had one more episode of Trying Not to Stare (amazing that this happened twice in one day!)  There was a couple in their 20’s waiting for the shuttle, and the woman, who was wearing a tank top, had these ugly raised red splotches all over her arms.  It must’ve been some sort of skin disease.  Fortunately, it was easy to avoid staring, what with there being a lot of room on the platform.

Gym: a distinctively unsuccessful outing. Maybe I was worn out from the hard work I’d done on the weekend, maybe it was just an off day.  I ran one mile on the treadmill at 5.6 mph, I had wanted to do two miles but just didn’t have the energy to do more than one.  Next, I started ellipting, hoping to do 20 minutes, but I had so little energy I gave up just shy of the 12-minute mark.  Between the running and ellipting I did about 22 minutes’ worth of exercising, which isn’t much, but I suppose is sort of acceptable when added to yesterday’s 60 minutes.

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Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 2:41 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You’re a fascinating human being. There’s really no other way to say it. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks!

  3. The red splatches on the arms of that woman was most likely Psoriasis. It is very hard for anyone such as myself who has it to allow others to see, so I say good for her that she was not so embarrased that she displayed it. Shame asses like you have to judge her for it. Hmmmm….

  4. I was hardly judging the woman for her skin condition, obviously it wasn’t her fault, all I’m saying is that when faced with someone having a visible, disfiguring condition there’s a natural tendency to look. It then takes conscious effort not to be impolite and look.

    By the way, I’ve seen psoriasis before, what this woman had did not seem to be it, but that doesn’t really matter.


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