i don't know how long it takes, but somewhere along the way regular riders of public transport pick up a 6th sense that recognizes the guy who just walked through the doors of the train is not quite right. i was sitting reading my book and this guy comes in. first hint: rain hat--but not in this cheerful
yellow, more like the color the "i know what you did last summer" guy wears. clue two: long plastic-y trench coat. yes, i do realize it happened to be raining that day, but you take what you're given. hint three: velcro shoes. for some reason, these really are relegated to nutters and total nerds. fourth sign: fanny pack (see previous clue). all this was topped off by the guy's glasses, which were some bizarre combination of swimming goggles and sunglasses. he came and sat down in the seat perpendicular to me, made an odd face and we went back to minding our own.
but then the train slowed down and he got out some packaged eye drops. like the kind that come a dose at a time. i hope i'd be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks administering eyedrops on a train is a good idea, but this dude was all over it. obviously, he ended up with juice all over his face (wow, that sounded really dirty, huh?). anyway, he wasn't particularly offensive or creepy, there was just something off about him.
eventually a kid (college?) gets on at union square. and here's the rub: he looks at the guy, then he looks at me with a "is this dude a nutter?" face, ("mostly harmless" my brows responded) then he looks back at the guy with a "are you a nutter?" face and sits down a seat away (on the set of three) and sort of bunches himself up by the part that sticks out next to the door.
the point, uninteresting though it may be, is this, we are aware of who the crazies are, but sometimes we sit next to them anyway.