Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Now that I have taken a break long enough to separate the real fans from the casual readers (and I see I have some real fans that check this blog pretty regularly) I will start posting again.

In reality, I have seen some interesting stuff since we last spoke, but I haven't had time to put together a post - I guess I could do it at home, but it's much more satisfying to write these at work, on someone else's dime. I have a little backlog of stuff to write about now, so you can look forward to some stuff over the next few weeks.

I am generally on the train at 7am - most days. To some of my readers (especially my brother) this may seem like the crack of dawn, but by the time I'm getting on the train I have already been up for roughly two and a half hours. In that time I have done a morning bike ride, showered and shaved, snuggled my wife, dressed my daughter, and shared cereal with her. Then I ride down to the train station and go to work, surreptitiously snapping photos of fellow train riders and making mental notes for my blog. I don't tell you all of this to make myself sound good, but just to make the point that when I get on the train I am UP - as are most riders. After all, the day has started, and by the time you are on the train in the morning it is time to be awake and ready to face the day. I do expect to see a few people with their eyes closed in the morning, but I rarely see full on sleepers. I say rarely, because I do see them sometimes, but they are never as spectacular as the woman I saw the other day.

She got on the train the same time I did, sat down, and was immediately asleep. Not just asleep, but snoring like one of the Three Stooges. I don't think I sleep as soundly at home as this woman was sleeping on the train. She didn't wake up the entire time I rode, from downtown Plano to Citiplace station in Dallas. I do wonder if she missed her stop or not - or if she was just riding to the end of the line.* I guess if you are tired, you are tired, but I will never understand how people can expose themselves like this in public. There are few things as intimate as seeing someone who is in a deep sleep. That's why I like to peep in windows.

When five o'clock rolls around, it generally finds me on the way home, usually in much more crowded conditions than in the morning. I don't know how it works, but going home is usually always way more crowded than heading in. Where do all of these people come from? Evening is prime napping time, much more so than mornings. That I understand a little more than morning napping, because you have done a hard days' work, presumably, and can easily doze off on the train, as this gentleman did.

Unfortunately, he is wearing a dark suit, so you cannot see his bulk - he is a giant among men, and was taking up two seats. Now, he didn't have to take up both seats, but when he fell alseep, he kind of spread into the other seat. As you can see from the number of people standing around this was a very full train, and his seat was sorely needed. He was sleeping like a baby and in fact readjusted several times, each time expanding a little more. Sleep well, sweet prince. That old lady can stand just fine, thank you very much.

* When I was in the Navy, I visited Hong Kong a couple of times. Hong Kong is an island off of the coast of China, and there is a ferry that goes across the bay to connect Hong Kong proper to the Kowloon side (if I remember correctly, it's something like a 10 minute ride one way across the bay, and costs under $5). There is a lot of nightlife in Kowloon (or was, I haven't been back in quite some time), and as a sailor and keen observer of the human condition, I felt it was my duty to check them out. I took along a lab assistant along and visited several establishments, being sure to rehydrate myself at each one. When we were finished, we boarded the ferry to take us back to the Hong Kong side of town, where the ship was moored. It being a late night, however, we both fell asleep, and woke up on the Kowloon side - we had made a round trip. We told each other to stay awake "this time" as the ferry left the dock to head over to the Hong Kong side. Again, we woke up as the ferry pulled into the Kowloon pier. This happened several times, and each time we would wake up and curse at each other for falling asleep. Finally we disembarked at Kowloon and took a $50 cab ride back to the boat. The thought of the sleeping woman missing her station reminded me of this incident, so I thought I'd share it with you.