Yeah? I'm not so sure anymore

Yeah? I'm not so sure anymore

Years ago, before becoming a resident, I visited NYC during an August heat wave. After observing the creatures that inhabit the Port Authority bus terminal I decided that (according to most western religions) this was the place were the worst sinners came to spend eternity.  If you look closely you’ll see people who have a remarkable resemblance to Hitler and Stalin perpetually cleaning the bathrooms.
Boston’s South Station doesn’t hold a candle to Port Authority, but this is certainly not from lack of effort as I discovered today while waiting for a train to take me home from visiting my father and step mother. I arrived two hours prior to my train and wanted to use the time to study for my upcoming chemistry exam. I have little to no aptitude for math and science. I read and re-read my chemistry text, but none of it registers in my mind. Most frustrating.
Easy, right? Can't imagine why I have trouble understanding this stuff.

Easy, right? Can't imagine why I have trouble understanding this stuff.

Concentration doesn’t come easily to me under the best of circumstances, but the South Station food court seems to have been specially designed to contain loads of irritating distractions to make things worse. At the slightest movement, the heavy metal chairs make a sound that resembles a marriage between fingernails down a chalkboard and a dentists drill. The floor tiles are marvelous at amplifying this horrible sound. I find myself turning and glaring angrily at anyone brazen enough to sit down or rise from their table. How dare they!!!
It occurs to me that Hell is both a very personal and a very subtle thing. I no longer envision Hell to be like the priests and nuns said it was.  It is not searing heat and fire…it is a stuffy, hot and humid room with an air conditioner that breaks down every 10-15 minutes. Hell is not a pit filled with the anguished screams of sinners. It is a crowded subway car filled with ex-girlfriends and the mean jocks I went to high school with. Hell is having only two TV channels; Fox News and a Murder She Wrote marathon.
Behind me, a slightly crazy homeless woman is furiously underlining passages in a well-worn Bible.  As people walk past her she accesses them and mumbles this assessment out loud with a well-practiced look of very strong disapproval. 

Two of the songs are "Fire in the Kitchen" and "Blizzard", not even kidding.

Two of the songs are "Fire in the Kitchen" and "Blizzard", not even kidding.

“Jezebel” she says in regards to a woman wearing leggings approximately 8 sizes too small for her jiggling, cellulite ridden thighs. “Sodomites” she growls at two young men walking by her. I like that word. If I were gay, I’d demand that friends and family use that term when referencing me. This woman suffers from what I like to call “Little House On The Prairie Syndrome.”  Allow me to explain.  On Little House on the Prairie, the characters lives truly sucked, and yet they maintained what seemed to me like an unwise level of faith in God and the Bible. I’m sorry, but after the third fire at the school for the blind and the 25th crop destroyed by hail or locusts, I’d have gone out in the middle of one of my fields, carved a 10 acre middle finger pointed up at the Almighty and stopped going to church. This woman’s life obviously sucks too, yet she is embracing her faith. As for the sodomites, I was under the impression that Jesus was a generally well-adjusted and accepting fellow. I thought J.C. loved everyone. I can’t picture Jesus hissing biblical insults at passersby at South Station in Boston. I think Jesus might have bought the sodomites a cappuccino  and discussed interior decorating with them.

To my left, a man is sleeping at a table. He wakes up every 10 minutes or so, makes extraordinarily disgusting coughing, throat clearing and nose snorting noises. Then he fishes a pile of napkins from his pocket and blows his nose noisily and abundantly into it, after which, he opens the napkin and evaluates the situation before repositioning himself and falling back asleep.
In front of me, a horrible, loud and fat woman sits and barks angrily at her brood of young children. She is angry because her children are … well … being children. She snaps at them while simultaneously trying to break the McNugget inhalation record.  Every time she hisses “Git ovah here”, a shower of chicken byproducts flies across her table and on to the floor. I want to dig through my bag and hand her some of the condoms I always pack, (but never use having essentially the sex life of a monk), but I fear that given her mood and  the rate she is eating I might lose a couple fingertips in the exchange. Why does this woman have so many children? She obviously lacks the financial or emotional capacity to care for them properly. Why is it no one ever photographs families like this for posters to adorn Planned Parenthood offices?  Why don’t hard core “family values” and pro-life politicians ever use these people in their campaign ads?  “I’m Rick Santorum and I approve this message, sadly because these are the very people who vote for me.”
'nuff said

'nuff said

There is a train to NYC 30 minutes prior to my scheduled train. I am tempted to ask an Amtrak employee if it would be OK for me to jump on this train rather than wait another half hour. I decided against this when I see the huge line of people waiting to board the 5:10 to NYC. I also don’t feel up to an exchange with an officious and bureaucratic staff member. I can foresee having to explain 4 or 5 times what I am trying to do and getting frustrated and ruining some poor wage slaves day with one of my patented snarky remarks … or worse,  pissing off the wrong Amtrak employee and being 86’d from the train altogether. That would mean a bus trip, which would surely be a disaster. Besides, the extra 30 minutes gives me time to chain smoke outside the station. 
I pray that my train isn’t as crowded as the 5:10. I don’t like sitting next to people if it can be helped. On buses, airplanes and trains, I watch as people come down the aisle toward where I am sitting silently chanting…  “Don’t sit here…Don’t sit here…please, oh please, oh please, oh God Don’t sit here.”  Unless there is an attractive young woman boarding, which is when I smooth my hair, sit up straight and chant a new cerebral mantra…”Please sit here, please sit here…this experience could totally be like a bad romantic comedy if only you’d sit here.”  Sometimes I scratch myself vigorously and mutter to keep others from sitting next to me. If they have no choice though, I smile and welcome them. It’s odd being so friendly and yet so anti-social.
It is time for my train. Good bye South Station
  1. It always seems very sad to me, people who’s only comfort is to take a theology that’s rooted in pretty positive stuff, and use it to envision everyone around them being tortured forever. But I also agree – why are you such a big fan of this deity? Your life is about as bad as it gets. Either you’re doing something wrong, or He is.


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