By Kevin Salvador
I found myself waiting for the train, like I've always done; but this time I was a bit irritated because I've quit smoking cigarettes and I had a nicotine itch. The night sky had arrived. It had been raining that afternoon so everything glistened with water droplets and the air was chilly. As soon as I got on the train I regretted it. The heater was cranked to a hot 86 degrees.
I tried to remind myself that it was not so cold outside and so hot on that train -- that maybe I was just overreacting. I'm sure people in Alaska have it worse than this -- but why did it have to be so hot on the train? There's a homeless lady huddled up in the corner wrapped in a worn out Nike jacket. I forget about how hot it is. I found a seat near the back, where I was able to stretch out and gain some much-needed solitude,
As I sat there watching the various passengers loading and unloading themselves from the train, I couldn't help but think about that Alaskan tundra; about all them animals that survive up there in the frozen, barren cold. Sturdy creatures, living in a white abyss. Foxes; wolves wolverines and… polar bears?
Do they have polar bears up there?
Off the train now, I walk through Union Station to get to Patsaouras plaza where the LA chill welcomes me again. I've got it good.
A group of pigeons huddle together while I waited for the 733 to Santa Monica. Do pigeons migrate south when they get cold? If it really got cold, would they just take off? Would I?
Off the bus now, I'm dreading my apartment -- a small place filled with too many people, but at least it will be warm.
By Kevin Salvador
SERIES: ON THE BUS
These faces are the many muses I've encountered while riding the public transportation systems from Gardena to Pasadena.
PART 1: OLD MEXICAN MAN WEARING FANCY COWBOY BOOTS AND A SLICKED MUSTACHE
It was around 5 in the morning. I had caught the gold line heading northeast-- a nice warm morning, It might have been summer, now that I remember. To my left sat an old Mexican man, He was dressed to impress. He couldn’t have been more than 60, I wondered if he was someone still trying to keep his youth? Or maybe he thought this is what rich men wear? My mind ran through all sorts of possibilities…. Then again, I wasn’t all to eager to ask him about his life story. His shirt was freshly ironed, tucked in and buttoned up to the top. He was wearing a bolo tie that was in style with Los Tejanos, or norteños (Texan or northerner). He was neatly tucked away into a pair of fitted Levis and on his feet he wore fancy cowboy boots.
Oh yeah. I almost forgot.
He had a slicked mustache.
I nodded my head in respect.
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