In other Psychonauts news, yet another attempt was made on my life this morning.
On Tuesday, while I was watching that VW Microbus go up in a big, Patchouli-scented fireball, I thought to myself, “Man, what is that incredibly strong Marijuana-like smell?”
I did not think, “I believe this is to be the first, in what will turn out to be many attempts, by an unknown force, to burn me alive.”
Until this morning.
There was an older lady sitting next to me on the train who was, I believe, the stinkiest old lady I had ever smelled. It was as if her curlers had melted in her hair and she just left them in. And then, apparently, she had poured glue or ammonia on top. It was pretty bad, but then this fanny-pack guy got on the train at the next stop and holy damn, there was an even worse smell! Was this guy completely coated in Ben Gay? Vitalis? Napalm? It was terrible. Being next to one stinker on Muni is fairly common, but to be wedged between two outgassers? Remarkable. A special day for sure.
Then this other woman approached the front of the train and tried to get the driver’s attention. “Driver?” She said, meekly. He ignored her. Some stinky minutes passed. The combination of smells stirred up some old memories from my childhood. I think because it smelled kind of like my sister’s old hairdryer. Had one or both of these people purchased a bottle of my sister’s hairdryer smell and poured it all over themselves?
Obviously. But why?
“Driver?” the meek lady said again, still to no response. But as the train pulled into the Powell Street station the driver started pulling a bunch of levers and making what looked like three phone calls at once. “Driver,” the woman said one last time, “I think the train is on fire. It smells really bad in the back car.”
“Hmmm, that’s interesting,” I thought to myself as elbowed my way through the crowd, stepped on fallen passengers, clawed my way out of the door, and ran, shrieking, up the platform towards the exit.
I’m not sure what made me stop and look back. Possibly my concern for the other passengers. Maybe because I love watching trains burn. Or maybe I just got a little winded. But I stopped, and I looked back, and this is what I saw:
Horrible flaming death, kind of. But it was more like a subway, and there weren’t any actual “flames” that I could see. But there was a thick grey smoke pouring out from the rear car of the train.
And that is all I remember.
After that moment, I switched into survival mode. The Animal in me took over, and carried me to safety. I ate several people, and chopped off my right forearm with a dull pocketknife. If you’ve watched any kind of TV at all you know this is the kind of thing that survival situations call for. Looking back, some of that might not have been 100% necessary, but it was a judgment call, and I had not had breakfast yet.
Anyway, nice try, murderous universe. Ha ha. Boy, do you look stupid now.