Scenes From A MUNI Station
A guy walking down the stairs in front of me stops abruptly and for no apparent reason. Accordingly, I stop. Wait a beat, and then step around him. I’m already in a bad mood since the fare-gates by the entrance through which I came were closed, forcing me to trudge to the other end of the station, again, for no apparent reason.
On the platform stands a man in overalls. Just when I’m wondering who still wears overalls (at least without a paint bucket in one hand), he pulls out three small bean-bags, black and yellow, and begins to juggle. Not just juggle, but toss-em-behind-his-back juggle. He drops the occasional bag, but still, a fairly impressive, if completely insane display of talent.
A train pulls up and the juggler leaves. I’m surprised when he does not continue to juggle on the train, thinking that would be especially impressive.
Moments later, a man in his late 30s or so pipes up about the cold war, how the presidents never change, how Reagan kept saying the cold war was over, but how could it be when the coal is still used and it doesn’t need to be when simple plastics are as strong as steal anyway so we don’t need the cold anymore but the cold war isn’t over, but they say the cold war is over, the cold war ain’t over.
I stare warily at the sign overhead pleading silently that it will say “N N 2 min” very, very soon.
From the right, next to the escalator, comes the sound of one freak singing.
Laying on the ground is a man in an orange shirt sucking on what appears to be a Los Angeles Public Library card. He has started singing in long, loopy tones. La Laaaa La La La.
In what can only be described as a sign of the coming apocalypse, Mr. Cold War Ain’t Over begins to sing along with Library Card Sucker. The MUNI freaks, I realized, alarmed, have joined forces.
Card sucker stops singing. Mr. Cold War Ain’t Over says, “c’mon brother man, don’t stop, sing out,” and continues to repeat the four note ditty.
Card sucker sings again and each time he does, Mr. Cold War Ain’t Over joins in.
The N arrives, Mr. Cold War Ain’t Over heads toward my car. I dart into the second car in time to avoid the listening to the world’s worst political history lecture.