Riding Metro North. Don’t Sit Here.

You, yes You, are standing on the platform waiting for the next train. The train approaches.  You flip open an app that displays which seats are open and…the app flashes a profile of your seat mate. Profiles are pulled together using a composite of the individuals’ blog posts, google searches and social media activity. So, what you have here is a form of seat match-making, with no names or addresses disclosed.

You, yes You, see that there are only two seats open. You scan the first profile, and you move to the second, mine, needing to quickly decide where to sit as the train pulls into the station.

Male. Middle Aged. Banker. Introvert bordering Prickly. ISTJ. 6’1″. College educated with Master’s in Doubt. 93% probability of dark suit, black shoes and black brief case.  Whiff of Irish Spring bath soap – he’s mildly curious about his minor vein of Irish yet highly cynical of the legitimacy of Ancestry DNA. Light spritz of Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille cologne, but is a non-smoker, non-drug user, non-drinker, and not a celeb chaser. Meets letter and spirit of train code of conduct. Reviles pungent perfume, tuna fish sandwiches and garden salads with Italian dressing, due to high splash content. Will not take or make phone calls on moving train and will send his displeasure with code violations in Quiet (and non-Quiet) Cars. Non-discriminatory on race, socio-economic class and size, but will respect and strictly enforce property line with nonverbal cues, body leans and shifts. May find him pecking away on emails or on his eReader, no newspapers, hard covers or paper based reports.  He’ll permit one or two short side glances at his content, but beyond this, you’ll feel a cool breeze of a privacy door slam shut. (And then he’ll continue noting his personal observations of you in his smartphone writing app and sharing personal observations about you in tomorrow’s blog post.) An Apple Fan Boy before it was cool – Apple Watch on wrist and bag full of Apple gear, iPods, iPad, and iPhone, and Mac on days demanding serious work. Non-conversationalist, and will sequester himself with earbuds – will not breach the mute state even on long breakdowns or delays – finds deep comfort in stewing in his solitude. Borderline germaphobe, yet is not a consumer or applicator of Purell, Chap-Stick, hand lotion or Listerine Breath Strips. Shoes are lace-ups, tied, are never flipped off, even on steamy August days when the leather pinches his high arches. May sleep (12% probability) leaning on window, but never breaches property lines. Will never FaceTime, Youtube or listen to music without earbuds. In a train car full of humanity, this Man is perfectly comfortable sitting alone, but is never lonely.


Notes:

  • Post Inspiration: Lydia Davis, excerpt from “Idea for a Sign” from “Can’t and Won’t: Stories“: “At the start of a train trip, people search for a good seat, and some of them take a careful look at the people nearby who have already chosen their seats, to see if they will make good neighbors. It might help if we each wore a little sign saying in what ways we will and will not be likely to disturb other passengers, such as: Will not talk on cell phone; will not eat smelly food. “
  • Image Credit: (via Nini Poppins)
  • Related Posts: Commuting Series.

Comments

  1. Christie says:

    funny and i obviously love what you wrote

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Christie says:

    ps my cell isn’t compatible with app’s, says it is but it isn’t, doesn’t even have a store

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OHHH BOY!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Haha well I would sit beside you just to read what you would write about Me! But careful, I may write about you Too! ♡
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael Zahaby says:

    Can i sit next to you?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, big difference between alone and lonely. Self-confidence comes into it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i have been known to wear ear buds even when i discover my device isn’t charged up at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. except for the cologne, you could have been describing me!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are hilarious. Masters in Doubt – haha! Alone but not lonely. Me. But here’s the thing: were I in his situation, I would feel compelled to strike up a convo with you – bad form in NYC, I know. But it’s moot, as you will never. ever. catch me there. Ever. If this INFP were to do that on a regular basis, I’d be so fried from ‘forcing’ myself to interact, I would simply fade away. Besides, I’m so unhip. iPhone 5s forever, as long as it works – and more than half the time, I forget to turn it on. No watch, no clue. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. On surface this profile may seem accurate, but I doubt ‘they’ had incorporated stuff from his blog. If they had, the profile would have been much more nuanced. Likable. Simpatico. Perhaps a winner.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The perfect travel companion. What’s not to love? Fragrant, self contained, non intrusive. But I bet your list is not comprehensive. I bet there is some bad stuff you haven’t told us (I read everything on your list as positive). A propensity to have more than your share of the elbow room maybe, or an unconscious sniff in the mornings, Go on, do tell!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. we’d be great uncommunicative travel partners! Though I do kinda miss hearing the stories of others as planes, trains and automobiles forced us to consider the possibility. And now we are inclined with head down before we leave the station. (Btw, a guy who spritzer TomFord scents, really should consider a new carry on…just sayin’)

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Omg. Laughing. Don’t know if I’d pick you to be my seat mate though. Remind me how the heck we ever traveled together for this long? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Classic DK. Save this one for the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “He’ll permit one or two short side glances at his content, but beyond this, you’ll feel a cool breeze of a privacy door slam shut. (And then he’ll continue noting his personal observations of you in his smartphone writing app and sharing personal observations about you in tomorrow’s blog post.)”

    You crack me up…. Thx for the peek behind the curtain, pal…. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Christie says:

    Yup, agree w/ Mimi, a man who sports a “Light spritz of Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille cologne” has a distinctive air about him and def. needs a new carry on…btw Nordstrom’s has a marketing bonus if you need & purchase a new stock of Tom Ford. Apparently DK is now a fragrance connoisseur 🙂 Nice Addition to the Dosey “Private Blend is designed with the true fragrance connoisseur in mind.” —Tom Ford
    Nordstrom
    Free 24pc fragrance gift w/ $85 fragrance purchase
    Expires in 41 days · Discount is automatically applied at checkout

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Whatever happened to getting on a train and just enjoying the ride!? To much thinking ha 😀👏 PS. I have a Masters in doubt too!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Christie says:

    I watched a commercial last night…from Match.com and they have an app that tells you that you have unknowingly passed by other Match.com clients ie: look x has passed by me four times today, hey x likes the same spot for brunch …oh how invasive some apps must be…I’ve heard they’re is an app so one doesn’t have to dine, alone while traveling…I finally have a car that has a Fob…old school but not old…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. quite an entertaining post David. I’m with you on Property Lines. They are sacred things indeed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Well done. Good to know Lydia Davis was an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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