Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Travels on SEPTA

By Hesta

This past weekend, Thorndike and Hesta convened in Philadelphia for a national Plablognox Conference. The attendees journeyed via SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transportation system, to the various events, which included the basement sale at Joan’s, Sophisticated Seconds – Philadelphia’s premiere fashion destination, and window-shopping at CVS. SEPTA caters to the discriminating traveler by offering a choice between passage by trolley (featuring both an above- and below-ground peek at Philadelphia’s vistas) or subway (the bleeding-edge of transportation technology). After much deliberation, Plablognox’s esteemed writers elected to board one of SEPTA’s luxurious trolley cars.

Upon boarding, Hesta and Thorndike took in their fabulous cabin—orange plastic seats providing a clever allusion to cafeterias of the 1970s, semi-opaque windows decorated with a filigree of fingerprint smudges and saliva, and a friendly driver with a half-eaten tuna sandwich on his lap. Inhaling the pungent aroma of whiskey emanating from the mouth of a fellow passenger, Thorndike and Hesta looked around for the liquor car, but it apparently had been separated from theirs at an earlier stop.

After they settled into their spacious quarters (window and an aisle seat), a neighboring traveler wearing a technicolored dreamcoat of nylon (c. 1990) lurched toward Hesta and, gesturing to Thorndike (who had donned his Comme des Garcons traveling coat for the occasion), inquired, “Is he with the theater?” Hesta replied, “No.” The fashionista countered, “His coat is so unusual. Is it for everyday wear?” “I wear it casually,” answered Thorndike. Satisfied, the festive passenger crinkled back into her seat and proceeded to wipe her nose with her plaid wool scarf.

The remaining portion of Thorndike and Hesta’s Philadelphian voyage was loudly narrated by two worldly tour guides located at the back of the car who cried out “Faggot!” when appropriate, and other similarly informative phrases.


Jacqueline Stuart said...

When Walt Whitman wrote “O captain, my captain!”, this swanky, and highly accessible mode of transportation was unfortunately not in place. Had it been, the great Whitman would have instead written, “O Septa, my Septa!” O Septa, what sweet images you conjure up for me now: a coterie of incapacitated youth huddled together, partaking in a little crack du jour, over there in first class. O septa, how I recall all those endless routes that took me to places unknown where Satan cavorted with Jesus arm in arm with semi-automatic weapons on hand, robbing the poor and drinking in Southern Comfort at Delilah’s. O Septa, I see it all, gazing at these beautiful pictures of what you were to me. Tears stream down now, missing your plastic orange seats, riding your line to exotic destinations for less than the cost of a CafĂ© Latte. I’m still in love with you, darling Septa.

Jillian said...

you didn't enjoy the seats that make you feel like you've pissed yourself?