Going Green: Human Traffic

And it has nothing to do with slavery….or does it?

Do you feel like people are playing games with you when you walk to work? The same way people used to play games when you would commute by car? I don’t know if any of you experience that at all but I do. I realized the cost of going green this morning and its human traffic (no slave)

Pretend you are driving down a residential street. Don’t automatically assume it’s a nice or grimy street. Just imagine a place where people live rather than party. You look up and you see that there is a SVU aiming down at you; of course they are riding the dotted yellow or white line in the street like it was meant to be exactly along the bottom center of their chassis. The driver is looking directly at you but pretending they are focused behind you and they happen to be white…..

You are on the freeway. It is 643 am/pm as you head/leave where you drive to earn your income. Just Over Broke. You know you need to get off two exits down. You check your right lane both by turning your head and…..you even check the mirror. You notice there is car in your blind spot so you figure you can get over eventually, plus you have got two exits of time. You turn on your signal only to realize the car is keeping pace with you. Being the good and safe person you are, you slow down to pull behind and the car slows to stay in your right blind spot. What that you say? Speed up? Guess what? They did too.

Fucking hate that right?

“Rii rii rii”

Me too. Makes me ape shit. If there was a paper trail (I never leave evidence) one might notice I had at least four road rage incidents in 2005 resulting in the annihilation of people who shop at REI and think convertible beamers make them tough. That’s another story though.

Every morning I have been riding the train to work. Gas price is up, environment is fucked and parking is rape. Apparently the trend is growing. I keep hearing about this going green movement and how everyone is working toward a more environmentally conscience life. They apparently have put down the SUV and picked up a BART card. They commute with me everyday. I stand in places that make me easier to make space for others to pass. I even walk down the platform and find the empty black Lego patch that signals where the doors of the commuter rail will align for entrance once the train has stopped. I will literally come down the stairs from the street, scan for people, and head directly to the most unpopulated area of the platform. Just me…..the quiet….my ear phones….a cup of coffee….and that sound of the BART announcements that switch from the girl on the to Homie the Clown as they tell you which train is coming. I stand there alone as the train comes shooting down the tube bringing half of the wind off the Bay with it.

Where do they come from?

Where do they come from?

As magically as the fog that appears in tunnels in the morning is the hordes of fellow San Franciscans who materialize as the train slows down to open its doors.

"Mac Genius who playin' wit? You betta back dat ass up"

"Mac Genius who playin' wit? You betta back dat ass up"

They become a horde where there was once nothing. They stand……………right in front of me some how. Oh yeah, I forgot, I move when people try to back into me. When its one woman with that great Monkees hair cut and a canvas tote slung on the shoulder with the supporting grip like my mother carries, its simple.

I can step back. I am still not sure where these people come from in the low hundreds but they all collectively back into me like Juvenile was performing in Beijing. I think about how in a traffic jam if every car around you goes in reverse at the same time, aren’t I supposed to?

“hahhaha….they want to pretend its a Tokyo subway”

You mind your business on the train. Everyone knows that rule. That’s why all your fellow passengers seem to wear earphones. Its a very My and itype space for people playing with Phones. Loud phones. You know….EARphones.

Nature uses signs to determine danger

Why is that I you hear someone in the next car’s tinny mp3s through their Maxell earbuds? Everybody is fucking loud. Why do they stare at you when they are the ones with the loud music on like

you are supposed to turn down your commute. Its basically the guy in the morning traffic with his window rolled down staring at you but he’s music is on and you are listening to the traffic report. You could do what you do then such as removing your sunglasses and letting your eyebrows raise as if you were asking a question. You know what’s going to happen don’t you?

Yes you are correct, this person staring at you with the earphones is going to close their laptop bag a bit faster like suddenly you are the bad guy. Then they will look away. You wonder if wild life experience this sort of thing. Do lions decide to ignore other animals or documentarians? Do seagulls make other seagulls uncomfortable? How do they all know which animal to befriend and which to eat or even which NOT to eat. Oh yeah. They have markings.

I avoid the human herds and walk on the curb between parking meters and the lip of the asphalt. Sure enough, I will run into Katie. Who is Katie? I don’t know Katie. That’s the name I’ve given this spirit that comes over the woman who comes off the escalator, I start power walking past, she strides ardently to get in front of me, so that she can slow down after she zoom into walking right behind some guy but only ends up half a block behind me because I can step to the right, zoom for a block, step on the sidewalk and light a cigarette. That same woman always coughs about my smoke.

Drop to down and get your Janeway on

Drop to down and get your Janeway on

Different woman every morning, but at least one of them does the same Katie maneuver. So I call her Katie. I’m not mad for her getting her Captain Janeway on, I’m just starting to get annoyed by this interaction with one person a morning if I go into work. I go into work 5 days a week, perhaps 6. That’s a lot time with these people and I have to tell you………….a lot of folks are bringing their commuter games to the sidewalk. Maybe I am too by writing this and just simply tompooling™ if you will but some of you playing games on the drive home and most of you are playing games on public transit. Only difference is I can drive away in my car. I can avoid you. This whole walking thing is really provoking people to finger jab one another.

You think about a direct collision with a car. Imagine you are back on the street in front of your house. Think about the cars who want to collide with you. Most of the time the person driving on the wrong side of the road with a bee line for your front bumper has more to lose than you. The direct collision that people invoke on your ride along public transit when you are headed to or from work, are always from those who ain’t built for it. It never seems to be the weight lifting physical trainer who is leaving the gym full of creatine and wheatgrass. It always seems to be the cherubim over inflated ego stubby law clerk carrying an arm full of folders that finds it necessary to walk diiiiiiiiiiiirectly towards you not knowing the disastrous consequences of his pedestrian pisssing contest because he’s never been called on it before. Not even the truck driving lesbian with gloves on and a dolly full of boxes is trying to be in your way. You are not trying to be in hers. No. What about Ms. Cubby (cute + chubby) corporate mudshark holding a Veinte™ green tea fusion macchiato in one arm with the other balancing an accordion folder (the trapper keeper of the law profession), a hand bag and (yes you guessed it) on the fucking phone that decides she is going to compensate for Hillary’s embarrassing loss by making a Curves step class learned trajectory into your abdomen with her breasts. You always move out of the way. There will never be contact. It won’t be a clumsy move either. Graceful, like a fucking monk making tea yet the sadness occurs from certainty that you will sidestep and dodge.

Why then have I have become such a magnet. Surely it is nether my charisma nor my devilishly good looks. One could file it under a need for attention by other pedestrians and passengers but generally I feel that people just don’t know any better. They have taken the competition of their daily behind the wheel tomfoolery and brought it to their foot traffic between public transportation and their place of employment. Hence; human traffic. They are all still slaves to a position in the struggle rather than arriving at their goals with a sense of liberation for all. At times, I tempted to tell the loud strangely Riverside valley accented young Asian woman rushing to get in front of me so

Everybody needs to hear her convo

Everybody needs to hear her convo

I can hear EVERY detail of her fascinating tales about her failed engagement via a Blackberry pearl sponsored phone conversation that if she spent less time taking care of the men in her family and more time developing herself, she might be self actualized enough in the Maslow sense to stop playing larger penis games behind the wheel or on her way back from lunch.

“Irony……….the universe’s sense of humor”

I walked down Market street toward Farmer Brown’s, crossing through a patch of dreaded, white t-shirt, blue jeans, Nike’d young gentleman of African descent imported from West Oakland and Richmond as part of the great promise of “big dough over in the city” due to heroin sales in the Tenderloin. Between the group, the must have been a minimum of 81 bullets available. No standing in my way, no chest beating, no threatening looks, no brandishing of weapons, no resistance and not a single comment about my suit. Just a series of hushed, back of the throat, nasal, bull frog toned, lack of eye contact multiple “my bad” as each of them stepped out of my way. Irony. I don’t miss being stuck in two hours of traffic to travel eight miles (at 40 mph that’s 5 mins) just to pass a bunch of stopped cars near the Treasure Island exit without a single dent in any of the stopped cars but three SFPD and five CHP because some one made the mistake of yelling at another driver “pull over and I’ll whoop your ass”. Not at all. I don’t miss it. I don’t miss the Italian convertible sports car with the butter milk driver who keeps turning up his G-Unit when I’m enjoying some Simon and Garfunkel with the bass turned up. Now as I sit on buses where people lean in toward me with their headphones as if you are supposed to tap them on the shoulder and say “HEY IS THAT FREEDOM ROCK??? WELL TURN IT UP DOOD!”, I realize how the cost of oil has dumped a crab barrel full of fuck faces into my commute all over again. All over the fuck again. I’m far too invested in my new life to allow my old tyrannical nature to take it back to some side walk road rage. However, I won’t be surprised if I come out of the Montgomery station to see some portly entitled New Englander career builder until she breeds laid the fuck out like Suge Knight while the BART police hold a 60 year old Chinese woman in hand cuffs against the wall as they ask her “is this your first violent offense Ms.Quon?”

Somebody gonna get ah hurt....reeel bad

Somebody gonna get ah hurt....reeel bad


This has been a Tom Wars Editorial brought to you by Mickey Cooney


One Response to “Going Green: Human Traffic”

  1. From the Beach Says:

    Lmaooooooooo. I laughed soooo hard. soo true

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