On the train ride home, I read a Zeroxed copy of "Federalism," Chapter 3 of a high school American Government book. My director gave me the book to help me brush up on basic political background as a means of preparing myself for this job, & Federalism is step one, apparently.
The guy sitting next to me begins asking me about the chapter - why I'm reading a high school textbook, etc. Instead of ignoring him, we start talking about politics, politicians, paranoia & a population full of apathy - pretty interesting, actually. Mid-conversation, I notice a well-dressed, 30-something Asian man sitting across the way, furiously banging his watch against his seat's metal bar & muttering obscenities. Distracted, I mention his apparent rage to Federalism Boy, who accidentally points his finger in the crazyman's general direction, or something else horribly inflammatory. Immediately riled up, Angry Asian immediately starts shouting, "Don't you point at me! I'll fucking kill you. Don't point at me! I will fucking kill you!"
Federalism Boy is kind of laughing, clearly unruffled - he's lived in D.C. for four years & says he's used to the nutters that roam the capital. I dare to peek at Angry Asian, both terrified & intrigued. His voice sounds warbled, somehow, like he's either vocally impaired or underwater; he's difficult to understand, but you can't exactly ask death-threateners to repeat themselves. As soon as he catches me looking at him, he begins yelling, "You too! I'll kill you, too! When we get off the train!"
Shrinking violent that I am, I begin repeating,"Oh God, oh God, oh God," over & over, so Federalism Boy asks if I want to move to another traincar. I do. We promptly book it to an emptier car, far away from Angry Asian & his killer tirade, where I decide it's safe to start laughing. Amused & out of harm's way, we recap the situation & savor our safety.
But Federalism Boy gets off at Fort Totten, & I have no idea where my death-wisher has exited, if at all. Amused as I am, I still exit my car with trepidation, confident the Angry Asian will emerge from his traincar to slit my throat as I head toward the escalator.
Clearly (& thankfully), this did not occur.
But are you noticing some sort of a theme here? Apparently kindergarten did me no good. Why haven't I learned NOT TO TALK TO STRANGERS?