Hello! This is a very special edition of How I Decide Where to Sit because it did not involve the work shuttle at all. Today I decided, against my better judgment and experience, to take Muni to work. That decision was 90% laziness, 8% capriciousness, and 2% annoyance from yesterday’s encounter.
Deciding where to sit on Muni is a little different from deciding where to sit on the shuttle. Skipping over the priority seating area, I apply the following criteria in order:
- Is there dirt, wetness, and/or unidentifiable disgusting crud on the seat? There is a lot of this on Muni.
- Is the seat next to someone who is obviously not in the shared reality? I worked at the public library and don't need to relive that.
- Is the seat next to someone who looks contagious? This is kind of a funny one, but I have to be pretty careful with my immune system. Muni is full of folks who have really interesting ways of dealing with things like sneezing (in the manner of a lawn sprinkler) and nose-blowing (into a sleeve, really).
- Is the seat next to someone talking on the phone? I am unable to hear someone talking on the phone without eavesdropping. I've tried countless times to shut that part of my brain off. If the person is speaking in a language I don't understand, then I start trying to figure out syntax and vocabulary. (I'd just put on headphones, but my reading comprehension plummets when I listen to music.)
My preferred seat is what I call The Pocket. It is the inside seat of the row in the car that abuts the middle accordion section. It is nicely tucked away from most everything while still being near a window, and it has a nice little ledge on which to prop a foot. And that is where I sat this morning, almost all the way to work, reading “A Game of Thrones”. Someone sat down next to me, a large-framed man in khakis, and he kept a demure amount of personal space between us as he Blackberried away. He pretended not to notice my snuffling when I got to That Part of the book.
HIDWtS Rating: Shockingly pleasant.