Thursday, February 25, 2016

An Occurance at Cinnabar Bridge

The whistle blew shrilly and the train came to a complete halt.  It was just the other side of the crossing, with the conductor and the engineer looking down from the front window.  Oh no, I thought, a suicide.  

The conductor climbed down from the train and helped escort a young man who had been stuck in the no-man's-land between the drop gates.   The train then began to crawl toward where I was standing on the platform.  

As I waited reading my book, I felt a rather abrupt shove on my right arm.  I thought that someone might have run into me on the near empty platform,  but I turned to see a woman in her 70s smiling at me.  I thought that she must have mistaken me for someone else, but then she stepped in front of me to enter the train.  I took a seat further down the carriage, but she immediately came and sat beside me.  I no longer tech English for money, let alone free, I quickly said to her, I'm sorry but I'm not much in the mood for talking.  I am, she said.  So I quickly disembarked and walked to the next car.  From my new seat, I could see that she too had moved, to the end of her car, and was now staring at me through the glass door.  

What is it about foreigners that attract the mentally ill?  Over the years, I seem to be a magnet for them, a plaything they find on the street.  I'm not complaining, but am curious.  What do they read in us that makes us approachable?  The woman's behavior was harrassment, hands down.  I thought that if she were to approach me again I would ask her what she wanted, curiosity begining to win out.  

The train pulled away from the platform, seemingly in the wrong direction.  Weren't we now heading back toward Kyoto?  But my stop was the very next one, and the correct one.  I disembarked unmolested, heading toward the gates to begin the day's walk, alone.

On the turntable:  !!!, "Louden up Now"
On the nighttable:  Simon Arlitage., "All Points North"

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