It's been almost four months since I started commuting from Connecticut. I used to commute from Yonkers into New York on a different branch of Metro-North, the Hudson line. I wrote about that experience here.
This commute takes a little longer, about 79 minutes to go the 59 miles from my station to Grand Central Terminal. There's an interesting cast of characters that ride the 5:55 am train into New York everyday. It all begins on the platform.
I call the group that gathers on the platform before the train arrives the kaffe-klatsch. This is a diverse group of locals who have been riding together for years. They are made of the following individuals:
Dapper Dan - He always wears a three piece suit to work. The linings of his custom suits usually are brighter colors and he accessorizes them with ties that compliment the lining. The back of his vest is always the same color as the lining of his suit coat. This is his big fashion statement. He's in his 60s. The purple lining was complimented with a purple tie this morning.
Sarah Palin's mom - I call her that because she's been reading Going Rogue. She wears "the bedspread" on really cold days. The kaffe-klatsch ribs her about her coat because it looks like a down comforter you put on a bed. They coined the term. She has short grey hair and glasses and could pass as a distant relative of Caribou Barbie.
Average Joe -- He always wears the same coat; an orange and gray ski parka. He's usually arrives first.
Sarah Palin mom's Son - He's in his 30s. He usually carpools with Mom to the station and hangs out with the kaffe-klatsch,but isn't a vocal member of the group. I think it's a generational thing.
There are couple of other women who show up, but not on a regular basis. The kaffe-klatsch will banter with each other like old friends on the platform. After all they've been doing this for years. An interesting phenomenon takes place, when the train arrives. They all board and go their separate ways to get seats. The conversation among them begins and ends on the platform.
As I get on the train, there are a couple of regulars already on board.
Sleeping Beauty is a twenty something woman who reminds me of Sally Struthers in her younger days. She could sleep through an atomic attack if one were to occur on the New Haven line.
Data entry is a fifty something who constantly writes while on the train. When she's not making changes to documents in long hand, she's writing in a buff covered note book. I think it's a personal journal. She always wears black. She has close cropped blonde hair, and always carries a flourescent green and black L.L. Bean backpack.
As the train travels to New York two more regulars get on in Fairfield. I call them Peg Bundy and Marcy D'Arcy two characters from the series Married with Children.
Peg is the tall redhead while Marcy is the shorter woman with short hair. Marcy physically resembles the actress Amanda Bearse. They are inseparable and always sit together. You rarely see one without the other.
At the next stop, Westport, two others get on the train. Both are finance types. One is a tall African-American gentleman who I call Barack Obama. While his resemblence is that he is tall and thin like the President, I suspect that he is a republican. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The other person who gets on in Westport is Finance Gal. She dresses conservatively but always sports a colorful scarf. He dark brown hair is streaked with gray, and is very wavy. She always sports a headband to keep it in place. She's not beautiful, nor is she pretty, but she is attractive in an unassuming, demure way. You would pick her out of a crowd. She would probably blush reading this description of her.
I ride on the train every workday, and while I play a little game in my mind about who these people are and what they do, I would give a penny for their thoughts if they knew I was blogging about them in this space at Open Salon.