Thursday, December 16, 2010

Psycho on the train

I used to work in downtown Dallas. I used to ride the light rail/subway. Many Texas men would give me shit about it, "Real men don't give up their freedom to ride public transportation!" they would say. Well Cowboy, being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour and half to go 20 miles aint my idea of freedom.

Some people call this freedom! lol
So, one day after work as I got on the train I met eyes with a rather attractive young woman about 5 rows in front of me. I smiled, she smiled back. She immediately got up and moved to the seat right in front of me,  turned around, smiled again and said "Hi!" in the just the friendliest way.  

Suffering under no illusions I knew this was not an uncontrollable sexual attraction to me on her part so I figured she was gonna hit me up for money. I was wrong.  The poor thing was, unhhhh, disturbed. Living in a fantasy world.

My two whole semesters of Psych and 30 seconds of analysis led me to the in-depth diagnosis of "Batshit crazy".

I soon discovered that everyone else already on the train was just ignoring the crazy girl so when I smiled at her she had someone to talk to. Besides, as all my friends know I am a total Psycho Chick magnet! {rimshot!}

Everyone around me has eyes averted ignoring her. Hell it's just plain rude to pretend she does not exist, psycho or not. I am just not built that way.

Well as a sci-fi reading D&D player I love immersing my self in alternate "realities' so what he hell, I just go with her in her reality. What ever she said no matter how crazy I simply took it at face value and just went with it. I replied, gave advice, asked questions just like you would in any conversation but it was all in her reality.

Did I mention she spoke VERY LOUDLY! Oh yeah, everyone could hear!

It's been ten years and I can't remember a lot of the conversation but I do recall a segment that involved her having tracking devices installed in her teeth. Her father was in Navy Intelligence and helped the Navy implant the devices in her when she was young. However, the saliva in her mouth would degrade the devices and every now and then her family would conspire to get her into the dentist chair so they could change out the old degraded hardware with fresh hardware.

So I replied as to how that REALLY pissed me off! With all the money the US Navy has you would think they of all people could do a decent job of waterproofing! You know if your Dad was Air Force that would be one thing but the Navy should be able to handle a little slobber, you know?  (I also vaguely remember we talked about battery replacement intervals??)

On one hand it occurred to me I was being cruel, reinforcing her delusions like this but seriously, I thought this was much, much kinder than just pretending she did not exist like everyone else was doing. In fact, as the train had continued north it got more and more crowded and yet there was a semi circle of empty seats around us. No one wanted to even be near the "crazy girl" even though her attention was focused on me.

Anyway, she got off at what I can only hope was her stop. As the doors closed I looked at the semi-circle of people around me intently studying their laps and shoes and said aloud "Wow, poor girl! I feel awful for her!" Eyes remained averted, the semi circle of solitude remained intact at a fixed boundary of four feet. Apparently 4 feet is the range beyond which crazy is no longer contagious???

It slowly dawned on me that since I had been "playing along" for the last 10 minutes these folks all thought that I was nuts too! They would not look at me or acknowledge my existence at all. Since I have a very weird sense of humor (to match the rest of my personality) I found this utterly hilarious- My coping mechanism for the crazy girl made me "the crazy guy"! Yeah, that was VERY funny to me! I laughed out loud- long and hard.

Shockingly enough this did nothing to help persuade folks I was (reasonably) sane.

However, at that point I KNEW I had been right- playing along is kinder than being shunned! Being shunned SUCKS! As if I did not learn this lesson well enough in junior high now I was really sure! I mean it was prom alllll over! :)

So a new guy gets on board and sees several empty seats around me on an otherwise crowded train. He sits down and says, "So why won't anyone sit next to you, I don't *smell* anything."
I liked this guy already! So I was smiling when I replied,  "They all think I'm nuts."
"Are you?"
With a shrug, "All a matter of perspective"
"True! So more to the point, are you dangerous?"
"Only to cheesecake... If its any consolation- I have had my shots", I said with a wide hopefully infectious grin.
"Well then I'll take my chances."
After a few minutes of silence I said, "Sooooooo, want to hear about the tracking devices implanted in my teeth?"
"Sure, why not. I got time"

I wish I had gotten that guys number, I am sure we would still be great friends.


tammy said...

Great story! And I'm proud of you for being nice to the girl, even if she was crazy.

(and would you quit posting so much? I can't keep up!)

Anonymous said...

When I was in high school I rode the regular (not school) bus home. Every day, the bus stopped and picked up a small group of kids from the "special" school. One day, this huge kid with Downs' Syndrome came and sat right next to me (the bus was pretty empty), grabbed my hand and held it to his heart, rocking and smiling at me. I let him do this all the way to my stop, several miles later. My best friend thought I was crazy, she said if it'd been her, she would've freaked out and got off the bus. But it seemed to make him so happy, just holding my hand and rocking.

Maria in Oregon

NerdyRedneck Rob said...

@Tammy - Heck, being nice is *easier* that shunning, at least for me.

@Maria - Now that is *seriously* sweet. That is an awesome story!

Sorcerer said...

Nice..Really nice read..
Man..I loved the conversation in the end.

NerdyRedneck Rob said...

Sorcerer - Thanks bud! This is one of my personal favorites. I am so glad you found it to be a good read as well!