The Look – no, the Move of Love
Once nice thing about the end of Daylight Savings Time is that it also marks the end of a weeks-long stretch during which I had to leave the house in the dark each morning. Being able to leave in the daylight this morning made a Monday definitely more tolerable than otherwise would be the case. After a couple of late days last week the shuttle was right on time at Medford this morning. When we got to Ronkonkoma the platform was quite crowded, so I knew that the 7:04 to Penn would be crowded too. When it pulled up to the platform and I saw it was using M-7’s, I had to make a quick decision whether to take it or wait for the 7:19, as I’d seen an M-3 consist in the yards. At almost the last minute I decided to go for the 7:04, figuring that the odds were fairly good that the 7:19 would also be using M-7’s. If there had been two or three M-3 consists in the yards it might have been a different story. The 7:04 filled up quickly, with the seat next to me being taken less than a minute after I sat down. The person who took it was the woman I’ve sat next to a couple of times who writes in a strange language on her Black Berry, the language I had figured was possible Indonesian or a Roman-alphabet transliteration of a South Asian language such as Tamil or Bengali. It turns out the latter was the case, as she was reading something in English and I caught a glimpse of the term “Lord Vishnu.” All I could think of was Apu’s invocation “by the many arms of Vishnu.” In any event, the car filled up quickly, with standees by Farmingdale, but at least there were no delays. Once at Penn I found to my dismay that the recent deterioration of service on the 2/3 line continues apace. I waited several minutes on a crowded platform, only to be unable to board the 3 that finally arrived because it was so jammed. A 2 was a minute or so behind it, yet it was jammed too. This time I somehow wedged onboard for a slow, generally miserable ride to Fulton.
Things were better after work. I waited under a minute for a 3 at Park Place and it was crowded but within tolerability limits. Two women standing near me were discussing their upcoming participation in a triathalon, it was a bit surprising because neither one looked especially athletic. I got to Penn in plenty of time for the 5:41 to Ronkonkoma, and had a rather unusual experience. Shortly after I took a seat a woman of about 35 sat down next to me. Within 10 or 15 seconds she got up and sat in the aisle seat of the row directly behind me. This was not a classic Look of Love situation, first of all because she didn’t really look at me, second because she was already fully seated when she got up (in the classic LoL the woman’s rump never actually contacts the seat). What in the world was it about me that caused her to move? There was enough room, we never made any physical contact, and I was sitting quietly reading and not squirming or anything. Nor did she appear to know the younger woman who was occupying the window seat in the aisle behind me. You can imagine the worries which arose. Do I look weird or anything? What made it even harder to figure out was the fact that she never really got a clear look at me. Whatever the case, I was filled with dread, certain – certain! – that an elephantine SCA would take the newly vacated seat and turn the trip into a living nightmare. Thankfully that did not come to pass. A reasonably sized 40ish man took the seat, and got off in Hicksville. I had an easy enough ride, as in the morning spent reading The Making of the Atomic Bomb (I’m now up to 1940 and the discovery of plutonium). We got to Ronkonkoma and the shuttle right on time, though I noticed on the electric schedule signs that the chronically late 7:11 (the 5:53 out of Penn) was living true to form today, being reported as 11 minutes late. Chances are that means at least 20 minutes.
Gym: I did just a few pull=ups today, going back to the customary hands-facing-away grip. 1 x 6, 4 x 4. I then ran two miles on the treadmill at 5.4 mph.