An alarming incident occurred on my tram ride home from the city today.
As I entered the house, thinking about this incident, I was greeted by my roommate. She was on her way out to a geriatric-themed house party. She was wearing purple with blue eye-shadow and horrible gold shoes.
“How do I look?” she asked and applied lipstick to her teeth.
A geriatric party?! I had just witnessed the raging antics of a geriatric on my tram ride home. He didn’t seem much of a party animal.
At a tram stop outside a supermarket, the tram doors shuttered and closed only to be frantically beat upon from someone on the outside. Muffled shouting could be heard, and as I peered out my window, I could see the balding head of a frail old man.
The tram driver re-opened the door.Slowly, and agedly, a scrawny man with a cane boarded the tram.
“What is the meaning of this?” he shouted, rather loudly considering his slight frame. He was upset because the tram doors had shut before his feeble footsteps could carry him all the way to the tram doors. I felt a little bad for him, but he kept shouting at the driver.
“What is the meaning of this?” he repeated, and shook his cane at the driver. I’ve never actually seen an old man shake his cane before. It’s actually more threatening than you might think.
“This is an outrage!” he continued his rant, “I’m an old man! I can hardly walk!”
The tram driver, safe behind the plexi-glass, seemed to just ignore him. The tram lurched forward and I watched the old man in his high-waisted trousers wobble to a seat, half-expecting him to lose his balance and collapse on the floor.
“This is bullshit!” he shouted again. He took the seat next to me, glaring at the other passengers through his thick, black-framed glasses. “This is the problem with transportation today!” he told us all.
Only 1 minute later he stood back up, hobbled over to the tram driver, and began to berate her again.
“I need off at the next stop!” he raised his cane and smacked the plexi-glass. “Can you let me off at the next stop? I need to get off at the next stop. Can you hear me?? The next stop!” and held on as the tram lurched again.
At the next stop, the tram doors opened. To his credit, the old crotchety man was as vocal about his gratitude as he was his vexation.
“Thank you! Thank you for stopping the tram. Thank you.” Then myself and the other passengers, half-alarmed, half-sympathetic, and half-amused, watched as he very slowly exited the tram.
He put one foot down one step. Then another step. He moved his cane forward.
Then stepped his right foot down again to the second step. Then his left. A little more cane action.
Again, his right.
. . .
Again, his left.
Then he baby-stepped and cane-tapped his way across the street into the twilight, and continued on his meandering way.
Perhaps he had a party to get to.