The other day I met someone in person that I met through blogging for the first time ever. We all have those stories where we meet up, stare at each other awkwardly, and then debate whether or not our perspective of them is still the same. My encounter was a little different because if anything I got this guy to blog, somewhat, and our friendship developed from there. My dad received tickets from his boss for a Philadelphia Phillies game and because my dad has a car with an engine that breaks every time you roll down the window, he handed them off to me. Since my new friend lived in Philadelphia I thought this was the perfect chance to finally meet up in person.
Everything seems all perfect until you realize I had to travel from New York City to Philadelphia for the game. I managed to get a $1 Bolt Bus ticket from New York’s State Capital to the capital of Philadelphia (also a state capital) that took only a little over two hours during rush hour. In fact, I ended up getting to the game before he did because he is a lonely alcoholic named Carter Johns and was busy sitting alone at a university bar being about a month away from turning 30. The bus ride down and the subsequent subway was very simple, although I came to realize that I am turning more impatient. In New York people walk fast and this is how you tell the tourists from those who choose to reside around this area. In Philadelphia things move slower which is nice except when you’re trying to get somewhere on time, like all of the time.
The game was good, they actually won, and Carter was kind enough to buy me alcohol and food, somehow knowing that I had planned to get chicken fingers without even telling him, which is totally creepy that he knew it. I could talk about our drunkenly ramblings for the first few innings until the booze wore-off, but that’s not what was the major event of the day. The biggest part was getting home. The game ended around 10:15 and I had a long journey home ahead of me.
The first thing I had to do was grab a subway to Center City Philadelphia then transfer there to more western Philadelphia. It was there I parted ways with Carter who tells me he’s not popular even though we ran into three people he knew, all of whom seemed grossed out by me. After getting off the subway I headed over to the 30th Street Station, basically Philadelphia’s big metro system plaza thingy. My next train wasn’t for about 40 minutes so I walked around trying to figure out how to buy a ticket because the machines would not let me. A fat girl dressed as a chef told me I could buy a ticket on the train with only a one dollar surcharge and I had to because this was the only option I had left. This first train ride was simple enough, leaving at 12:01 from Philadelphia. I got into Trenton at about 12:50 and then I had yet another train to catch.
My next train left Trenton at approximately 1 in the morning. Keep in mind, I actually work now and wake up at 7:10 for work. Why 7:10? Because It takes me 15 minutes to get ready in the morning and then I stand around for a combined 10 minutes wondering what the hell I’m doing. This train left Trenton and before it even took off there was controversy. An older black man was saying how some woman “played him” and he was clearly drunk or a constant blister on society. He talked to one of the conductors about nonsense and didn’t make too much of a scene. Also on this train was an Indian guy who kept getting off at the wrong stop. The ticket taker (I refuse to call them a conductor) told him to “relax” because he kept jumping around nervous. The only other standout person on this redeye train to New York was a woman who I know was a stripper. I know she was a stripper because one eye was all glittery, she was attractive, and the conductors seemed to know her. What other job on earth requires you to glitter one eye? Unless she was punched by someone at a gay parade, she was a stripper.
That train got into Newark where I had to transfer, again. If you don’t know much about Newark, it goes like this. Newark is fabulous city if you plan to die. It’s pretty dangerous and usually makes Top 10 lists, or sometimes only Top 20 when too many of the criminals are already dead or locked up. It’s easily one of the scarier cities I have been in alone at night. The worst thing about this night was I went to grab my train only to find everything blocked off. Not only that, homeless people were lying around everywhere and whenever I see this I always think they’re going to pop up and scare me. I asked a nice man with a dumb voice where to go and he gave me sour directions that required way too many steps. I tried to follow them anyway. I headed down to the McDonalds like he told me and that’s when I saw the nervous Indian walking around as well as the only other white person within screaming for help distance. The white guy had on a giant backpack and seemed really dumb and lost. He probably isn’t and he admitted that he was.
Bonding over our fear, the white guy and I tried to find a way to Manhattan. He had no clue what he was doing and he would probably be dead if not for me. I pretty much led the way and got us to a really complicated out of the way train track that required us to go up three floors. He was entirely confused so I let him use my Metrocard (I’m so New York) to get into the rail system. We began talking and I found out he was a French student traveling abroad. He sounded French and he looked it. He had an ugly mustache for sure. I later asked him what his name was and he told me. When asked to spell it, he told me it was too hard to spell. Okay then. We came to the conclusion that his name is pronounced “Tibo” as in Tim Tebow. So our supergroup name was Tim Tebow. He seemed to have no understanding of what I was saying.
Tibo with the complicated name and I small talked a bit more until our train finally came. A gay guy from Oakland was on our train too and he joined our party because he was terrified. The gay guy completely hijacked the conversation, but that was okay because Tibo was French and said the French love Americans. Tibo is a liar. I tried convincing Tibo to follow the gay guy whose name I didn’t get, but who knows if he did? I had to get off at the first stop and they had a few more to go. It was already almost 3 in the morning and I was already planning out in my head the negative letter I was going to write to NJTransit for their complicated system of finding trains.
I said goodbye to my two friends. I do consider them friends. They were the perfect friends because I will never have to see them again. I got off the train and began my walk home. I grabbed a green tea from QuickChek because I was severely dehydrated then passed by a group of attractive younger people toward home. On my walk home two kids came around the corner in front of me. What would you know, one had on a white shirt with red sleeves and the other had on a red handkerchief hanging out of his pocket. This in gangland is known as “flagging” and suddenly only a half mile from my apartment I was walking behind two Bloods at 3 in the morning.
I slowed my walking and hoped they wouldn’t notice me. I was carrying an umbrella which could have been used as a weapon. My friend Rob beat up a kid who looked like wrestler Dino Bravo with an umbrella years ago so it could work on two thugs, right? The worst part about even after I slowed my walking was my shoe was squeaking so loud and it was the only sound present anywhere. They knew I was only a few hundred feet behind them. With each step I thought they would turn around and mug me. I had a $50 bill in my wallet too. They could have bought lots of red stuff, like catsup, to go along with their gang affiliation. They ended up crossing the street then later on made a rendezvous with two females. I climbed into my apartment building alive, safe, and exhausted. I popped into bed and go a nice healthy doctor recommended three hours of sleep.
So really what I’m trying to say here is that scientists need to get on inventing that whole transportation thing because this was just not cool.