i do not like public speaking.
i particularly do not like public speaking in environments in which public speaking is not typically called for.
say, on the train. at 8 a.m.
the morning commute is a fairly standard ordeal. there's the whole waiting in the cold business and the scrunching onto a packed car inconvenience and the standing entirely too close to people you do not know nonsense.
but i've been doing this for awhile now and i've got a pretty good system. i know where to stand on the platform to make getting off easier. i know which cars are less filled. i know that if you're in the first car, after fullerton the conductor will open up a secret compartment that will lead to the sudden creation of unexpected plentiful space.
this happens every single day. the same as always. no surprises.
until today, when, standing in the corner where i always stand, my copy of secrets of the flesh: the scandalous life and sensual times of collette went scandalously rogue and grazed the panic button, setting off a horrid alarm and bringing the train to a full stop in that awkward curve of chicago and franklin.
for the record, i do not like drive-thrus either and that is the effect created here. when the voice of the conductor, who is standing literally not five feet from me though we are separated by a wall of steel, screams over the intercom: MAY I HELP YOU?
and i, standing in the corner where i always stand but now on the spot and under the heat of 30 separate glares, bleat back the most incomprehensible thing imaginable, NO NO, I DON'T NEED HELP. I JUST HIT THE BUTTON WITH SECRETS OF THE FLESH.