Thursday, July 10, 2008

Come on Ride My Trolley Trolley

So you might wonder if I'm up here doing any work at all, since I haven't been posting about my research, which I do every day but weekends, but I do in fact have a routine. For instance, I have to ride the T every morning to work and every evening back home to Roslindale. But sometimes people shake up the day-to-day for me a little, and I usually admire the change of pace. 

So yesterday was a particularly good example of this. Somehow, we got on the train at rush hour, which we don't usually do, and the subway was stuffed with sweaty bodies. We could barely get on, and while this wasn't completely unusual, especially before a Sox game, the train conductor's handling of the situation was.  Although all the conductor USUALLY says is "rugglesnextstopdoorsopenontheleft," this conductor said "MAKE WAY MAKE WAY EVERRRYBODY! I see some ROOOM in there and I know you SEE IT TOO." When everyone just looked puzzled at the other train occupants -- there was in fact no room -- he started to sing.  "Come on ride my Trolley Trolley," he said. "My Trolley Trolley Trolley!" Andrew turned to me and asked, "If you have to report suspicious activity to the train conductor, who do you tell if the conductor is acting suspiciously?"  A good question.

Every morning on my way to work, I pass a young woman -- I'd say 22 or 23 -- walking down the sidewalk holding a hand mirror up to her face. It's the size of her head, and I have no idea how she sees where she's going, or what she's looking at while she walks, or if she's ever been hit by a bus during this routine.  I  have come up with a few theories as to why she does it, though. Maybe she got a new face after a disaster, and somehow can't rectify this new identity with the old one.  Or maybe she's psyching herself up for the daily grind. Or maybe she's in love with her own eyelashes. Maybe before I leave, I'll ask her.

Today I read about a woman trapped in Cambridge in 1775 on a farm besieged by soldiers. Her husband fled to England, leaving her behind, and I got to read all her letters bawling him out for being a utter loser.  Her name was Elizabeth Murray Smith Inman and she was super-wealthy -- a shopkeeper fortunate enough to have drafted a prenup in the 18th century! -- and when her gem of a husband Ralph left her to the English soldiers, she took all of his money with her, and survived, and cut him out of her will for spite.  I love my job. 

1 comment:

Camille said...

When I first saw the title for this entry, I thought it was another sexual reference. I was thinking, "What kind of research trip is this really?" :)