So I get on the train this morning and all available seats are window seats. I walked the length of the train but there were no seats on the aisle.
This is something commuters do. They see a couple of empty seats on the train and sit in the aisle seats so no one sits on the inside next to the window. They know people prefer not to ask you to get up so they can get the vacant seat next to them, so they sit on the outside and guard their luxurious space. Who really wants an aisle seat on the train anyway? It’s not like a plane where you can get up and walk around- the minute you get up, you’re seat is taken by someone else. So the only motive is to prevent someone sitting next to them. If they had their way, they’d prefer you just stood for the entire journey.
This morning, everyone was doing that.
So I went up to an elderly lady and asked if the seat next to her was free. She was obviously annoyed as she moved her purse off the seat and stood up so I could shuffle in and sit down. I moved in to the seat and put a cup of coffee and my ipod down on the fold down tray and sat down. She sat back down.
I was still wearing my jacket. My big, heavy, padded motorcycle jacket. And I was hot.
So I did a half-stand (so as not to knock over the tray above my lap) and carefully slipped my arms out of my jacket and slid it off- very careful not to let the arms of the jacket whack the lady as I did. I lifted the jacket up to put it in the overhead storage by lifting it sideways- hooking it into the storage.
I lifted the jacket. The jacket knocked the coffee cup over. The spill-proof lid caused a steam or latte to douse the woman next to me. It got over her skirt and the purse which is now sitting on her lap.
I apologised. I truly feel bad about it. But her cold reaction stopped me from apologizing too much.
I am writing this on my phone while sitting on the train. She is still sitting next to me and I am so uncomfortable. I keep thinking about what she is going to say when she gets to work: “Some idiot on the train spilled his coffee all over me . . .”
The worse part is- this isn’t the first time I’ve done this. It happened last month with a guy in a tan suit. I gotta give up coffee. I offered to pay a cleaning bill– that’s what people say in the movies– but he was very nice about it.
I am quickly becoming an unpopular guy on this train, I think.