to go: 1,088.38
WAY! " the woman declares.
"They ain't NO
WAY I'm climbin' up them [expletive deleted]
she comes to a dead stop in front of me, dropping her Smart
& Final grocery bags to the floor of the BART Station with a grunt.
seems equally distressed. They
stand there for a long moment, hands on ample hips, eyeballing the
long, narrow concrete staircase leading upstairs to 12th Street. It is
clear that neither
of them are happy with this unexpected turn of events.
the [expletive deleted]
they don't have a excalator goin' upstairs?" snarls The Companion. "How
come they only got one goin' DOWN?"
She glares hatefully at the down escalator, running with quietly ironic
efficiency ... right next to the staircase.
stand behind them,
are the two women
who sat behind me on BART tonight. I didn't actually see them while we
were riding on the train from the Coliseum to downtown Oakland -- I was
busy looking out the window, pretending not to listen to their
conversation -- but I recognize their voices. Mostly they talked about
the difference between Polident and Fixadent.
come in them
tablets," I recall the woman explaining to her companion. "Those what
you use to clean 'em at night. Fixy-Dent what you use to hold 'em
one point the companion asked her friend to spell Fixadent for her
-- this prompted a noisy/bumpy/agitated scramble through purses and
shopping bags, as they looked for a pen and paper -- followed by a
lengthy discussion of the best local stores to purchase Fixy-Dent ...
the merits of Fixy-Dent over other, lesser adhesives ... whether or not
those bottom teeth could have been saved, or whether the roots was so
dead, by the time the teeth fell out, they looked like little rotten
black stumps with strings hangin' off them.
to self: bring
something to read, next time you ride BART. And schedule a dentist
the women are
glancing around the station, obviously looking for alternate exit
possibilities. "You think they might be an elevator, over there on the
other end?" asks The Companion hopefully, waving a fleshy arm in the
direction of the Frank Ogawa Plaza Exit. "I think they might be an
elevator over there on the other end."
they ain't an
elevator," the original woman booms, "somebody gonna have to CARRY
up these [expletive
I'm tellin' you what." And they burst into shrill, raucous laughter.
Neither one of them moves an inch in any direction, though, and the
entrance to the stairwell remains effectively barricaded.
make a tiny *ahem*
noise in the back of my throat.
not that I'm
unsympathetic to their plight. I understand. God knows I've had my own
*issues* with the unexpected vertical ascent, over the
summers ago I almost had a heart attack climbing the hill to my
sister's house: a fact David loves to remind me of ... usually when
we've just finished riding over The Moraga Hill. But it's been a
day, and I'm supposed to be meeting David in front of his office in
five minutes. The last thing in the world I want to be doing right now
is standing in a sweaty BART Station in the middle of a withering East
me," I say to
them politely. "I'm just going to skooch around you, if you don't
I squeeze past them as carefully -- and as deferentially --
as possible. I'm not sure which they will find more offensive, frankly:
my use of a nauseatingly happy-doodle word like 'skooch' ... or the
fact that a woman at least twenty years older than either one of them
is all but running up the long concrete staircase, right there in front
that she's taking
the steps two at a time, as she goes.
is proud to be featured on the
throw a rock