when evening rush hour hits the blue line, the commuters are greeted by a tijuana convenience store. the parasites come out to feed on weary office workers whose natural defenses have been worn down by a day of staring at computer screens and scheming to do the absolute minimum required. in this state, there is an insatiable urge for miniature, crunchy, turd-shaped cornstuff covered in toxic-colored orange powder. it's only through fear of not knowing where these phosphorescent orange turds come from that keeps me from such temptation. did they fall off a truck? stolen? baked at home and fraudulently packaged? one could never be sure.
another side effect of this weakened state is a heightened sense of guilt. no matter how much fun avoiding responsibility can be, the very act of it strips away the survival instinct. beggars read this on the riders' faces like an open book and demand penance. even the blind man knows pulling one of his plastic eyes out of his skull makes the riders realize just how easy they have it. hapless children bring even more hapless puppies on board to exact their toll. and the least imaginative just utter, "spare some change?" something everyone knows everyone else can do, but no one wants to, sparking a game of chicken driven by guilt. in a strange twist, the weakened who fork over the change scorn the strong.
the most successful of these professional riders are the musicians. they provide a service, whether you like it or not. the accordion player transports people to gay paree. the folk guitarist sells the free-love lifestyle that everyone wants, but only hippies dare live. and the family with their guitar and bucket percussion provide the actual acid trip, turning "come together" into something even a crackhead could love.
when the sun goes down, another transformation takes place on the blue line. in place of the plain folk too scared to dare the sheriff's into checking them for fare are mobs of youth too bored and too poor to do anything but. despite being loud and appearing to have no particular destination, these youths are no more dangerous than the day crowd. though possessing overwhelming numbers, their interest in mating exceeds that of mischief, much like their san fernando valley counterparts. lucky for me, my age and complete lack of youth-cool keeps me off their radar. there's nothing quite as unpleasant as warding off unwanted advances from what may as well be another species. to me, the words "jeezy," "gaga," "young" and "lady" used in the same sentence must refer to lewd acts gone terribly wrong. while i'm sure this happens often amongst these youths, it's clear that's not what they were talking about.