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Painter’s suit

Seeing how I’m nearing finals, this post will be kept short

                Arizona constructed something called a light rail a few years back, an above-ground train serving as public transportation. Instead of parking on campus, I take it to and from school, parking at the last available stop which, coincidently, is closest to my house. It saves me tons of time and money, but it’s not without its dangers.

                Last week I was on the train back to my car at around 9pm. The whole train ride to and from campus takes about fifteen minutes, so I never have to stay on the train for long. This is a good thing, seeing how that late night class once a week turns what could have been a five hour day into a ten hour day on campus. Anxious to get home, throat dry from thirst, head dizzy from hunger, and just all around tired from sitting all day, I boarded the train and sat back, trying to calm my nerves.

                Usually you have to purchase tickets to use the train, but with security as thin as it is that late, you get to see a lot of people who either can’t afford them or simply don’t care of the consequences. You get a lot of homeless, some poor, and, when it’s too dangerous to drive and they know it, a few drunks.

                Something worse was on that train that night.

                Brown male, Mexican descent, short black hair and goatee, brown eyes, 250-280 lbs, 6ft 2 or 3 wearing a painter’s suit and black shoes.

                He was loud, that was the first way he drew attention, and he liked to talk to random people around him, that was the second. The topics were nothing of importance, just a really big guy who liked to talk big. He tried to be affable, but he had that classic criminal’s sneer that was absolutely devoid of all goodness.

                I tried to ignore him but it’s hard to ignore someone sitting in the middle of the train making noise just to make noise. Without a book to read, I gave the man a glance every so often, finally noticing the strange dark bulge that was his crotch that seemed to bleed through his painter’s suit. He was naked underneath. The suit wasn’t exactly clear, mind you, rather it was opaque, but because of the suit’s stitch you could see the faint color beneath.

                I tried to not look at him, but he kept trying to talk to me. I slowly turned my head and gave him what my family calls “the death stare.” My eyes aren’t too deeply set, but my brow is a prominent feature, giving more power to any glare I give. My glares make it look like I want to kill someone, some say.

                “What’s with that look?” the guy asked, not bothering to let me respond as he went joking with the people around him, a few lonely drunks by the look of it all too happy for the attention, and one mentally challenged male.

                I didn’t want to answer anyway, I thought, and went about trying to stare out the window. For money, the light rail guys put up adds that usually span whole trains, covering the windows with a filmy substance that makes enjoying the night nearly impossible. I sighed, counting the streets before the last stop, my stop.

                “Hey man, you got any water?” he asked.

                I turned and gave him that glare again, that, “don’t fuck with me right now, I’m hungry and tired,” look. He sneered. “You sure?” I shook my head slowly.

                “How bout I bust open your head huh?”

                I didn’t lock eyes, rather, I glared at his forehead in the oncoming silence.

                The guy turned and started talking to the drunks how he just got out of prison.

                250 pounds male, just out of prison, half naked, wants to bash my head in because he wanted some water. If you recall, my bottle was empty anyway, but I made no motion to show that. I just gave him the glare that said, “if you want to start a fight, you’d better be able to finish it.”

                He didn’t bother with me after that.

                The train stopped and I got off, and he didn’t follow me.

                But the events of that night still bother me. The glare I gave, how intense it was. I remember clearly how short my fuse would be had he actually gotten up and started something. 250 pounds, just out of prison. I’m a 185 college kid with a basic knowledge of martial arts. Who would win? Probably not me.

                This is a longer post than I anticipated, but the point is, no matter how bad of a day you had, don’t go staring down the guy who thinks he’s the alpha male, because no matter how strong you think you are, in all likelihood that could have been the night I died. He could have pulled out a knife, or hell, just beaten me to death. People do that you know, just for looking at them the wrong way. Just out of jail. He didn’t seem to care that he might have to go back.

                That night I didn’t watch myself. That night I let my attitude take over. That night I made the mistake of not just ignoring, or answering kindly, like everyone else did, and I could have dearly paid for it.

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