You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

I’m a Bitter Old Man

I did the strangest thing last night. Normally, I’m a behind-the-scenes pisser and moaner. I save up my energy and vent via this blog. But yesterday, I snapped at somebody – and for a silly reason (she was even friendly to me before I snapped). Here’s what I happened:

I was leaving North Station/Fleet Center by using the exit that brings commuters to the Green and Orange subway lines across the street. This walkway has been under some sort of construction for as long as I can remember. In recent months, the Big Dig, Central Artery demolition and Democratic National Convention have alll wreaked havoc along this path. Currently, somebody has been (slowly) building a strange structure (bus waiting area? ticketing center? tourist trolley shop?) along the right side of the walkway. As a result of this, the walkway keeps getting narrower and narrower (enclosed by jersey barriers). With tens of thousands of commuters walking through each day, it’s a tight squeeze.

Yesterday, there were two women (early 20’s?) all skinny and pretty with their luggage. Each woman was surrounded by ENORMOUS suit cases that must have weighed more than the two women combined. Anyway, they had stopped in the middle of the walkway to apparently make a call using a cell phone. I had my discman on so I tried sidestepping the obstruction they caused. Even still, because it was so narrow, I ended up nudging one suitcase with my left foot and tripped a bit. I didn’t fall or even stumble…it just visibly altered my momentum.

Over my discman, I could hear one of the women say “I’m so sorry.” I turned around and she really did look sorry. So what did I do?  I barked (while still walking away) “Perhaps you should use common sense and not spread out to chat in the middle of a narrow walkway.” I didn’t even give her a chance to respond. I just kept walking and dodged an on-coming stampede of commuters coming off the Orange Line (my guess is they also gave her hell).

I have no idea why I was so bitchy. I was in a good mood. I was listening to some Jesus and Mary Chain. And when I saw her face, I knew she was, in fact, sorry. Yet I snapped. She was probably some out-of-towner who didn’t know where she was. Still, common sense should have made them both realize that if they were going to stop…they should have walked the extra 15-20 feet to where the narrow path ends and the area opens up to a large gathering space.

I feel so bad. Bad, Karl, BAD!

But when I got home last night our neighbor visited. She and her husband just adopted an adorable little 8-week old pug…Rocco. Dusty met her for the first time face-to-face and even though Dusty was more than twice Rocco’s size, she was petrified. Absolutely freaking out as Rocco tried to bond with her. Dusty loves humans – no matter what size. But when it comes to other dogs, Dusty could care less…or in this case, she cries and runs behind my legs.

Oh, and later in the evening I got a blast-from-the-past phone call from my high school friend, Karyn! It was so great talking. We haven’t seen each other in nearly 3 years (she still lives on Cape Cod…which is no excuse since I’m down there periodically to visit my parents). Anyway, I’m hoping we re-connect more regularly – by phone, by email and in person. And speaking of blasts from the past, another high school friend, Candy (who now lives in Florida) is up here for a few weeks and we’re supposed to get together for dinner on Friday. I’ve not seen her in a long time, either. It’s like homecoming…but in September instead of November. HMMM – homecoming. This is my 15th year out of high school…I wonder if there’ll be a reunion?


  1. Comment by David on September 1, 2004 10:42 am

    Karl, You are such a bitch!
    🙂 😛 🙂

  2. Comment by chris on September 1, 2004 1:54 pm

    our tourists arent city-savvy. most of them have never been on a subway before.

    they crowd the fronts of the escalators when you try to get on, they stare into space like cattle as they clog the escalator steps (and you politely push your way through them to try to catch the train on the platform), and they STOP DEAD at the foot of the escalators, hurtling you and the rest of the commuters into their sweaty backsides. then they glare at you, even though is it they who are interrupting the flow!


  3. Comment by Doug on September 1, 2004 8:00 pm

    Sometimes shit happens Karl, and those poor women happened to be the dumping ground. I wouldn’t worry about it, I grumble at the Mall all the time about the people who just STOP moving for no reason, they just stop right where they are and you end up walking up their ass. Happens the most at Christmas time, when I am my jolliest (NOT!).

    On the flip side, I think I am expecting. I got news today that a neighbor of my Mom’s is expecting a little of Shih Tzu’s. Dusty will have a new cousin…Bella or Lola if its a girl…not sure what if its a boy.

  4. Comment by matt on September 1, 2004 9:19 pm

    Karl — Like I’ve always said, you are a “raaat basstad”!

  5. Comment by Robert on September 1, 2004 11:58 pm

    Thanks to you Karl, maybe next time these women would definately think twice before stopping in the middle of a walk-way… either that or bringing bigger suit cases!!

  6. Comment by Best on September 2, 2005 3:11 pm

    Super site!

Comments RSS

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.