I wrote this “memoir” sophomore year for a communication writing class. I thought it was pretty entertaining so I assumed the readers here would too. Many of you have heard this story…if not, well, it’s definitely memorable. It’s also pretty long, so don’t read it if you’re in a hurry.
It starts below the city of Boston in the tangled system that hosts trains going anywhere and everywhere, with no concrete schedule of when they’ll arrive or depart. It starts with the time you’re given to stand and wait while the train is running around the city. It starts with that dull olive army cap that always seems to stay in the same corner of your eye as you stand patiently by yourself, waiting.
It’s odd. Even in the middle of the growing crowd of people waiting to get somewhere, that army cap never seems to go away; it stays near you, bobbing along with the rhythm of the masses. The cap is misleading too because it’s clear that it doesn’t even belong to an army guy. Instead, the only visible cues of life from that hat are grey, matted hairs springing out from underneath it. These hairs are sparse, but frequent enough to provide a little shade for the glassy-grey eyes that sit below a wrinkled, spotted forehead. All of these features exist undercover with help from that fake cap.
Its frequent persistence is a little unnerving, so you decide to move away. Being stared at is nice sometimes, but why from an old guy? Apparently the young, strapping army lads are at boot camp and you’re stuck here, in this dingy train station, with their homeless grandfather batting eyes at you.
As you walk, you take in all the other sensations specific only to this place. This place where trains come and go, people stand and wait, and musicians play for quarters with the hope of a big break. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel bad for them—nobody really gives them a second glance. You keep moving in hopes of escaping the hat and those eyes. The magazine stand looks informative enough, hosting dozens of papers and tabloids promising that they know the secret to the new Hollywood diet. It’s all very intriguing, but the sugar infused junk food they sell is what really grabs your attention. Rows of chocolates and sweets and sugars and all sorts of things that you were warned about as a child fill at least half of the stand—there are so many choices that it’s almost hard to decide. The magazine men are nice enough though. Give them a dollar twenty-five and they’ll respond with a Snickers bar. Continue reading