I grew up without much access to a car. We had a car, but my mum couldn’t drive it, and my dad wouldn’t drive it. Unless he wanted to go somewhere. Which was rare.
I spent a lot of time on trains, and I can’t say I’m quite as rosy on them as the rest of you. Here are my top three train moments:
3. Board a train, on the way to craft club. There is a completely empty three-seater chair, except that the man opposite has his feet on it. I walk towards the chair. The man moves his legs down, grunting and gasping. Then he stands up, calls me a stupid ugly fucking lesbian (!) and proceeds to pace around the carriage muttering and swearing.
2. Board a train at Parramatta station (foreboding sound effect). There is a man sitting opposite me but one seat back. I can feel him looking at me. I turn around to give one of my well-worn don’t stare at me stares. Something makes me turn my head back without making eye contact. I process my peripheral vision. What had I seen? He was wearing those tracksuit pants which for some reason you can unbutton at the sides. He was reaching into a sports bag. He was pumping lotion from the sports bag into his hand. What? I glanced again. He was JERKING OFF. ON THE TRAIN.
I wasn’t equipped to deal with the situation and I just changed carriages or something to allow the requisite mental processing to take place. Afterwards, I vowed that next time I would get up and call a guard.
3. Sitting on the train. I have that creepy feeling again. ANOTHER man is jerking off on the public train. I get up, determined to go to the guard and call the asshole out. The carriage is one of those old ones that doesn’t connect to anything. I sit in the entranceway chairs, fuming.
Blue light carriages are an excellent service, and I’m sure that none of the masturbation exposures would have occurred in one of those. But my point (if I have one) is that the very publicness of public transport means you are subject to all the fucktards of the world, which I don’t welcome. Hell, I can hardly even stand going to the movies, because of people talking and OPENING FUCKING LAPTOPS and answering their phones and discussing the movie stupidly afterwards. I’m just not that tolerant a person.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not trains I dislike, it’s passengers.