Yesterday I squeezed onto a red line subway train headed for the Loop. At the next station people, healthy looking people got up from the “Designated Seats” for the elderly and disabled and a young woman standing next to me quickly, ignoring me and my cane, sat her self satisfied ass in the seat meant for people like me; you know, the disabled senior citizen? We’re everywhere and we are her future.
She and the young woman seated next to her feigned complete blindness to my presence standing right in front of them. This may not have been my best moment, but I really, and I mean really, wanted to smack their self-satisfied heads together.
Eventually, our train pulled into the 1st station in the Loop, where I always step off the train to walk to my office. The woman sitting right in front of me, the one who so completely ignored the plight of the disabled senior standing directly in front of her made motions indicating she was readying herself to get up and leave the train.
Being the bastard I can sometimes, be I, I feigned that I didn’t notice her and, therefore, didn’t budge an inch even though it was my stop. I stood still as she tried to get up from the disabled’ persons rightful seat. I didn’t budge. I ignored her.
When in exasperation with my studied indifference to her, she said “Excuse me,” I replied with as much saccharine as I could muster: “Oh, now you see me. For the last 10 minutes I didn’t exist. Maybe next time a disable or senior citizen requires the “Designated” seat, you will gather as much empathy as your parents, in their miserable failure, tried to instill in you and you will cheerfully give up your seat.” I turned and walked away from her with just the slightest bit of satisfaction, but knowing, realistically, my words fell on the deaf ears of a cemented, self-involved blockhead.