As a Young Dog

I swear I’m not trying to copy Alia. I’ve just been riding public transportation a lot lately (two hours a day) and these sorts of things tend to become the fabric of your daily myth. As you know the theme of this blog is that it is an outlet for my irrational romanticizing of everything trivial. So here you have it: a public transit story. For *actually good* public transit stories, you know where to look.


Standing not inconspicuously in the center of the near empty tram car, like so many of the manchildren I’ve seen roaming the bus system of Geneva over the last few weeks, he is some sort of a seamless and bizarre crossbreeding of the jersey shore and eurotrash style scenes. He’s got gold chains, a buzz cut, and low (but not too low) hanging pants. He’s also at least 6’3″ and looks like he’s about to speak, or at least shout something incomprehensible and French.

With one hand he’s fiddling with a pack of cigarettes, as if he’s deciding whether or not it’s alright to smoke on the train. the other hand is clutching the black foam handlebar of a razor scooter, which, because he’s at least 6’3″, is dangling with only the back wheel in contact with the floor, flinging itself erratically with each lurch or wind of the train.

Completely unnecessary, on this swollen summer night, is the puffy black jacket he’s wearing. Unnecessary, I think, until he turns toward me and I find myself eye to eye with a doberman puppy, relaxing kangaroo style within the half unzipped fold of the jacket. Doe eyed and silent, this dog is a picture of tranquility, a multitude of calm . The dog looks me in the eye when the man does not, and soon we’re locked irrevocably into some sort of happenstance stare off. After several minutes I begin to think, with some conscious affection of insanity, that this unfaltering, adorable little dog is looking into my soul. I narrow my eyes…

Our contest is abruptly broken when the man turns away, and I try in disbelief to blink away what I for a moment thought was, but couldn’t have been, a fleeting ironic gleam in the eyes of the dog.

Oh, only to be so completely senseless to the utter absurdity of the human experience.

The man with the dog steps off the train at the next stop and a minute later I’ve dissolved into audible laughter. But it’s alright because it’s past midnight, and hell if there’s anyone actually sane on the tram to CERN at such an hour.


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One Response to “As a Young Dog”

  1. ealiasalim Says:

    I love this. I have a soul-changing Doberman story, too, when you get back–there is something about those dogs, I swear.

    Also, you flatter me.

    I hope all is well in physics-land!

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