April 13th, 2009

amd: kirsten ulve "ice skate"

mind reading on thin ice

This guy sits down next to me on the subway this morning, dressed in a suit and reeking of cigarette smoke. And he starts talking, just above a mumble, rattling on about about anything that comes into his head. Once I worked out that he definitely wasn't talking to me and that he didn't have any obvious electronics or bluetooth gizmos, I just sat back, pretending to read my book and enjoyed. It was sort of like having telepathy except that the guy on his other side kept trying to make eye contact with me so that we could share an eye roll at our shared morning craziness.

For the first few minutes, he was just rambling on about hockey. "What's the point of a hockey game if your stuck on a subway train? You can't watch hockey on a train. You're not at the game. You're not even there." And so on and so on. I'm adding punctuation, although there weren't really any meaningful pauses between words. Then these two young women came into his field of vision and he started talking about them like he was narrating a novel, fortunately quietly enough that they couldn't hear him over their own conversation. "Two girls, both with stacks. I know one of them. She used to be in the Ice Capades. She was good. Real good. Skates and everything." Then he seemed to be listing the names of a bunch of people she skated with, none of which stuck with me.

Of course, neither of the women in question were old enough to have been in the Ice Capades, but I was curious what it was about them that set him off on that particular rant (a Dorothy Hamil bob? skater's ankles?) when I realized that both of his tirades involved ice skating. Maybe he had a head injury while skating or an evil step-father that menaced him with rusty skate blade....