Yesterday morning I had the loveliest conversation with an old couple on the T. Benjamin and Grace were their names, and they were just the cutest. Late mornings on the T are pretty quiet, so we were the only ones in the car. I sat down, pulled a book out of my bag, and started to read when I see the dynamic duo make their way over to me. Ben plunks down on my left while Grace takes the right. It was like a Marielle sandwich with rye bread (if people were bread, I envision old people being rye). Ben squints his eyes a whole lot and says, “So you have adventure in your bones, huh.” Now all I can think is, “Great, i’ve always wanted to die an embarrassing death by old folks trying to be all Bonnie and Clyde and stuff.” Sensing my confusion, Grace butts in and explains that they saw me reading a Jack Kerouac book, and they were glad I wasn’t listening to “one of those ipod things.” Well, good thing I forgot my “ipod thingy,” was wearing glasses, and was sporting my Emerson College sweatshirt because man did they think I was the best kid on the planet. I got extra bonus points for knowing where Kerouac was from, and once they found out I had already been to the Lowell Mills like 10 times, ohh man. Old people love geography, and mills apparently.
By the time we hit Central, I had told them about my road trip to Colorado this summer and my upcoming move to L.A. and they told me about their travels in Europe after they retired. Here’s where Grace begins her speech, “We started our adventures too late. We got so caught up in what we thought we should be doing that we forgot about what we wanted. Don’t forget that life isn’t always about what you should do, you need to live and love as much as you can.” And here’s where I get the feeling I’m secretly being filmed for one of those Kleenex commercials where everyone gets all sentimental.
As we hit Kendall, a businessman in a suit walks on the T, head down, with “ipod thingy” in ears. Ben and Grace grin at each other and snicker, “Why do all people in suits stare at the floor, what’s so interesting about a floor? Are they afraid of actually talking to someone?” I, for one, can justify a good floor staredown every once in awhile, but Ben and Grace apparently aren’t fans. Squinting far more than I’ve seen anyone else squint, Ben looks at me and says, “So what are you afraid of? It’s seems you’re alright with human interaction” (Ben’s got sass, did I mention?)
So, through Charles and into Park I explain my fear/fascination with sharks, which in theory is ridiculous. BUT, in dreams where I’m being eaten alive it’s NO FUN. Trust me. Pulling into Park, all bent outta shape from shark talk… I remove myself from the Marielle/ Rye bread sandwich as Ben scoots over to my seat and places his hand in Grace’s and declares, “Sharks are a great fear- I’m petrified of ants, now isn’t that silly.”
Anyway, the point is: old people are wise beyond their years, and sometimes afraid of ants.
Later in the day, a friend emails me this quote:
I’m fascinated by both these things. So…As it turns out, I’m a young man? Wonderful. Ego boost from Ben and Grace ruined. Needless to say, this day was a very weird one. Thanks mom, for letting me watch Jurassic Park and Jaws as a child!