Keep Houston Press Free

Tales from Transit

In towns with real public transportation, people are used to interacting with the crazies on a daily basis. In Houston, not so much. Most of us keep our windows rolled up and the AC on. But I happen to live on the Main Street rail line, and today I took it to work.

The train was pretty crowded. I was standing up holding a rail, and there was a young man sitting across from me. The conversation started off innocuously enough.

“I like your shoes,” he said.

“Why, thank you,” I replied, and gave him a smile. Then things got weird.

“I don’t hate YOU,” he yelled. “YOU hate ME!”

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I decided to quit making eye contact, and he proceeded to lecture me for the next couple of stops. I chewed my gum and stared out the window, glancing back at him from time to time.

Here and there, I could make out what he was saying, and boy was I glad. “We should teach the babies,” he said, nodding at me. “I’ll teach YOUR babies. I’ll fuck your babies in the ass!”

I looked around to see if anyone else was getting this. A man quickly bent down to study his newspaper.

At one point, my friend stood up, walked toward me and put his hand above my head to share the rail I was holding onto. He was breathing on me, and I could see he was gearing up for another lecture at the very least. “Downtown Transit Station” was announced. I stepped around him and got off the train. – Cathy Matusow

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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