We stood in little clusters waiting for the train. This morning our
cluster was in an uproar, because the train came to a stop, but did not
open its doors in front of our cluster. No. It opened them a yard to
our left and we didn't know what to do. It had never happened
What were we to do? Do we break ranks and have a free-for-all? Do we
wait for the train to align itself with our cluster? We were getting
What we did do was dwell on the matter long enough for the train to
close its doors and leave without us. We were like children on our
first day of school. There was much weeping and foot stomping. Larry
Groves, the elder statesman of our cluster, sobbed openly. "I have been
riding this train for forty years," he said. "This is the first time
anything like this has ever happened to me. Somebody give me a cell
phone. I need to speak with my therapist."
Since we missed our usual train, we took a vote and opted to wait for
the next one. That's when we heard the murmuring. We turned around in
unison to see where this murmuring was coming from and it was a
frightening sight. Coming up the ramp and onto the train platform was
another cluster. And they didn't look happy.
"What's the matter with them?" said someone from our group.
"You're standing on their spot!" shouted the coffee vendor. "There's
such a thing as protocol, you know. I wouldn't stand there much longer
if I were you. They're a pretty tough cluster. They once made a cluster
of leather clad cyclist put out their cigarettes and dispose of their
beer bottles in the proper receptacle. I wouldn't mess with that
We didn't. We bowed our heads and casually walked away; pretending to
be looking for lost change.
Overcrowding on the next train forced us to wait for another. So again
we stood and waited. And again we heard the murmuring. And again we
We finally made it to work at about four o'clock in the afternoon and
were promptly fired.
We will eventually find gainful employment, but never again will we
cluster. It's a risky business.