Riding Metro North. Seat Selection Psychology.

I’ve noticed.

It’s happened enough times, to notice. Is it only me that notices these things?

Typically off peak trains.

I’m early.

I take the window seat, in a three seater. Always a 3-seater. Always the window seat.

I don’t place my bag on the seat, a Welcome mat for other commuters.

Train car begins to fill.

Ladies. Men. All colors, sizes.

They take a quick glance.

And they pass.

They’ll crowd into a two seater across, in front, behind. Or a three seater in front, behind.

The car reaches capacity,  and he (or she) will approach,

look up and down the car,

and take the seat.

But why?


All of the seats already had an occupant, which meant I was going to have to position myself next to a stranger. In a different mood, I enjoyed this game: one had ten seconds to scan the occupants and select the slimmest, sanest, cleanest-looking person to sit next to. Choose wrongly, and the fifteen-minute journey into town would be a much less pleasant experience—either squashed beside a sprawling fatty, or mouth-breathing to minimize the penetration of the reek emanating from an unwashed body. Such was the excitement of traveling on public transport…I stared at the floor, my mind racing. Did I … did I look like the kind of person who ought to be avoided in a game of bus seat selection? I could only conclude, in the face of the evidence, that I did. But why?

~ Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.


Photo credit

Lightly child, lightly

When I came back into the flat, I noticed that it smelled lemony. It was a pleasure to enter…I turned off the radio and sat in silence on the sofa, drinking another cup of tea. All I could hear was the breeze whistling softly through the open window. I didn’t normally notice my surroundings, I realized. It was like my walk…this morning: when you took a moment to see what was around you, noticed all the little things, it made you feel … lighter.

~ Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.


Notes:

  • Photo: by Cath Longley titled Sunburst
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Move it up. Top of your list. Now.

She was, quite simply, a nice lady who’d raised a family and now lived quietly with her cats and grew vegetables. This was both nothing and everything.

~ Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.

 

 

It’s been a long day

I remember, I remember … I closed my eyes. Eyelids are really just flesh curtains. Your eyes are always “on,” always looking; when you close them, you’re watching the thin, veined skin of your inner eyelid rather than staring out at the world. It’s not a comforting thought. In fact, if I thought about it for long enough, I’d probably want to pluck out my own eyes, to stop looking, to stop seeing all the time. The things I’ve seen cannot be unseen. The things I’ve done cannot be undone.

~ Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine.


Photo: Mulholland Dr. 2001 (Naomi Watts) via i wanna see your eyes.  Related Posts: It’s been a long day

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