Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Talented Derelict

I took the usual 12:40 train to the Sac City College today. I sometimes like to stand in the elbow of the car instead of taking a seat, which is where I was today. The ride started off fairly light with passengers, but as usual it became very full. After a short ways past the Downtown Plaza the car was tightly packed with standing and sitting passengers. The 'Elevator Effect' was in full array; the social trait of strangers staring away from each other or to the floors and windows while confined to tiny spaces.
A senior black man in a shabby suit had gotten on the train earlier and was sitting quietly in a seat near me. He stood out as an oddball because he had a stethoscope draped over his shoulder. He had stated out loud to someone who did not ask, that he was a doctor. Everyone knew this was not true. He wasn't even a quack. We rolled along uneventfully when he began to sing openly to three young girls sitting across the aisle from him. He was making up the words as he went. He was attempting to flatter them with words like-- She has real hair; real hair on her head. She has a real face; she don't need no foundation; leave your makeup at home...
This should have been a very creepy experience, but what made it worth noting was that his voice was smooth and musical. This guy should have been on a singing competition. Everyone on the train was laughing because he was so good and his words were hilarious. He had the attention of everyone on the train. Some were taking video clips with their phones, hands stretched out over shoulders. I've seen people sing on a train and it is usually obnoxious. This time it was amusing. We all were just a little uncomfortable too, but not as much as the girls he was singing to. They were fortunate enough to come to their stop and they exited the train. From there on he was silent but the rest of us were still chuckling from his performance. This guy had missed his calling, but perhaps he really is a doctor. Who am I to say?

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