Before I divulge into my hilarious recent trolley encounters, let me first mention www.narniarapbattle.com It's the west coast response to the SNL east coast rap about two guys on their way to see Chronicles of Narnia. It helps to see the original SNL first. "Let's get back in the Corolla..." (West Coast style)
Ok, so my recent trolley experiences have been keeping me laughing lately. Last week I was coming home from work and this shy Mexican man sat across from me. I have a new distraction on the trolley since my iPod Shuffle has been 'misplaced' for months (how many more months until it's called lost?). Lisa bought me a handheld Tetris game. I love this present so much. I told her this morning at coffee that I've never used something so much, except for my toothbrush and Reef sandals. I can play a 3 minute game which is perfect for intensity or the neverending game that is good for the long ride home when I just want to unwind. This Tetris game and the role it plays in my life is more complex than I'm willing to admit.
That being said, instead of my 'music video' trolley ride, I'm now the eyes down Tetris junkie. The thing about Tetris is that for many people, it's nostalgic. People want to tell me their Tetris story, just like when I ride my yellow retro beach cruiser and old men at pedestrian crossings want to tell me about their first bike. Entertaining to say the least. So instead of Tetris being an uninviting "I'm occupied" activity, it becomes very inviting. Sometimes people will lean into my game and give pointers, grunt when I make a mistake or rejoice with me when I eliminate 4 rows at once.
Back to the little Mexican man. I had my eyes down on Tetris, but a girl knows when she's being stared at. He would look away when I'd look up. This continued for about 5 looks, until he finally said in a lysped Spanish accent, "Uh.. I like your booooots". He looked away immediately. I said, "Thank you, I like them too". He went from looking out the window, to thrusting his hand out and saying, "I'm Victor, what is your name?" Great, now I have to PAUSE Tetris so I can shake Victor's hand. Long story short, I introduce myself, he asks about Tetris, about where I'm headed, and finally if I would go on a date with him sometime. I regretfully declined that offer, but the lysp accent and timidity cannot capture the comedy of the trolley ride. When Victor got off at the next stop, all the guys around gave me a hard time for the rejection. Oh, well.. "V as in Victor" will never be the same.
Tonight I was totally tired on the ride home. After a long day at school, attempting to give blood (but being rejected because I went to Thailand in tsunami areas and was exposed to malaria), a CRU meeting and a late trolley.. I just wanted to get home. Tetris in hand, I settled in for a long winter's night.
The couple that had been making out in the SDSU trolley station sat across from me. There's always that couple that won't stop kissing, giggling, whispering.. that everyone stares at. The guy of the couple was especially tall so that when he went to kiss the especially short girlfriend he looked like a giraffe swooping down for grass. So across from me is this couple, only the guy is so insanely tall that his knees are touching mine at first. I went to move and that is when my new friend sat down next to me. This guy smelled like my grandpa when he'd come home from the ranch.. what I never realized is that the aroma is pure sweat. My grandpa didn't have some special ranch smell, he had spent 14 hours sweating and working hard.. he just smelled. I though great- smelly man, smooching couple, knees touching, dead cellphone, and I'm so very tired... at least I have Tetris. The guy next to me says, "Where did you get that Tetris? How much did it cost? If you don't mind me asking.. because my girlfriend would really love that game.. oh boy, she'd love it... actually she's not my girlfriend.. it's platonic for now.. she needs space.. but I know she's into me and one day she'll be my girlfriend.. I help pay her rent." I said, "It was actually a great gift from a friend, but my guess would be Toys 'R Us.. it's perfect for the Trolley".
Now, I've met more homeless people in the last 6 months that I have in my whole life combined.. and I've learned that, for the most part, they'll talk whether you care to listen or not. A person in proximity with minimal eye contact, is an audience. Can you blame them? They're so very lonely, they're going through hard stuff and they want to process with whomever they can. This gentleman Sam (I never got a name, but if I had to pick one, it'd be Sam) said that the SDSU concert hall was left open that night and we went in and played some ballads from the musical he's writing. He was pretty excited about the opportunity to play on the baby grand on stage. The name of his musical is "A Hero's Story". He told me all about it. It opens with a couple in a small Italian Restaurant.. the song would be "a lesser known Billy Joel song, Italian Restaurant", says Sam. Are you kidding? That is my number one favorite song... the tempo changes like 5 times throughout.. a story about life, sung by Billy. I know it well. The character's names are Linda and Freddie. The song has two people named Brenda and Eddie... Sam is going to ask Billy Joel to re-sing the song with his characters in it. I told him that the names were really close and maybe he could just get away without requesting such a thing of Mr. Joel. He then continued to sing me some other ballads from the musical- aloud in the trolley for all to hear. I acted like I enjoyed it, might as well, you know? He was into it, they were decent, I thought I'd move my head like I'm grooving. He got off, I told him that I'd buy a ticket for "A Hero's Story" and gave a big smile. He got off and people started laughing, the make-out couple were squirming to make Sam comments. Fortunately, we pulled up to Old Town, where I switch from the blue to green line. I just shook my head and said, "We meet some super interesting people on here, huh?" They laughed and probably kissed, I didn't turn around to check. In my mind, they're still on the same trolley, riding it, lips locked.