I take public transportation to get to work with the rest of the dirty, howling masses. A couple of days ago, something interesting happened on the way there.
I take the express train to get me to the office. On the stop I hop on, the express train usually pauses for about ten minutes, so there’s a bit of a wait after I inevitably rush to get on. I’m sitting on a bench, and across the from me sits down a beefy middle aged white guy in a crew cut and passe’ little square sunglasses. His boots have tiny little chains on them for more traction on ice and snow.
He’s drinking a Dunkin Donuts iced tea with lemon, and he puts the drink down on the seat next to him and takes off his parka. He’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt three sizes too small. Which is weird because it’s a 15 degree snowy day in Philadelphia. He takes out a travel sized bottle of Cocoa Butter and proceeds to slowly, lovingly lotion his arms, neck, face, hands, and shins for the next 15 minutes. He did it in a very deliberate precise manner that seems to indicate he does this often.
All the while, I’m focused on his iced tea, afraid that if the train started, his tea would tip over and spill everywhere; making a big fucking mess for everybody. But this guy doesn’t care. His sole focus is a thorough application of scented lotion to fight the winter itch. I have to admire his singular focus and mindfulness.
“One thing at a time,” his bizarre behavior tells the world. He’s gonna do it right the first time.
I think we can all learn a lot from the weirdo’s we encounter on trains.