Don’t Forget Your Headphones

14 Nov

I never realized how important they would be … but in the end it became the difference between a peaceful train ride and a I-can’t-believe-this-jackass-is-sitting-right-behind-me trip.


If you’re single and interested in meeting someone, headphones are a terrible thing to have when you’re on the bus, subway, plane, or train. Apparently it makes you unapproachable, perfect for someone who is married or flying solo.

This is exactly the type of vibe I was trying to send out. Headphones are perfect for someone just wanting to enjoy the ride and relax. I really didn’t need to meet anyone, unless it was Ryan Gossling or Charlie Hunnam and it was very unlikely that either one would be on the train. So it was unfortunate for me that I forgot my headphones. I brought my computer, my books, my work, but no headphones. I thought … well it seems peaceful enough. The car was practically empty. I’d be fine, or at least I thought.

It would’ve been a nice train ride along the coast.

He came in wearing jeans, a beige wool sweater, and a blue clip-on tie that had no business being on a sweater. The fact that he could have chosen any other seat, far away from me and didn’t, burned me out. The fact that he started having a conversation with himself made me realize the true importance of headphones.

That’s right. That’s right you’re going to miss me. You’re going to miss me but I’ll be back. I’ll be back! That’s right!

Silence ten seconds.

Yeah you’re gonna miss me! But I’ll be back.

I realized he was talking to the city. I don’t think he realized the city was ecstatic upon his departure.

The train began to move and he continued talking about the wonders of his phone and the discovery of free WiFi. He began rapping and tap-tap-tapping on the fold-out tray table, which is of course connected to my seat.

I tried to ignore it. I continued typing because before he got there I had experienced a writing breakthrough with my book. I typed away before the ideas evaporated. But I learned that I’m not a café writer, the kind that sits at Starbucks tuning out other people’s conversations and writing a masterpiece. I was in desperate need of the quiet soothing sounds background music could provide if I had only brought my headphones.

English: Bose Around-Ear 2 (AE2) Headphones

English: Bose Around-Ear 2 (AE2) Headphones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whoo! Yeah. Mmm-hmm. It’s back! It’s back. Yeah I got the Internet. Yeah. Let’s go. That’s what I’m talking about. Because you know that’s how a playa’ lives! Yeah that’s right. That’s how a playa’ lives!

Then he opened up a bag of pork grinds and continued rapping.

Yeah … that’s how a player lives.

After fifteen minutes of that, I heard the flick-flick-flicking of the lighter and a distinctive smell that comes from a lot of college dorm rooms. I couldn’t take it. This little herbal cigarette could have made matters much worse. I felt the need to intervene in my own Guat way and even though he denied it the smell lingered. But only for a while, because apparently he put it out. However this did not stop his rapping or insistence on letting me and the rest of the passengers know he was a player.

The trip ended with me writing in a new character … one with a bad haircut, terrible beige sweater and blue clip on tie. He dies … on a train.


25 Responses to “Don’t Forget Your Headphones”

  1. TBM November 15, 2013 at 1:11 AM #

    He dies on a train. I love it! Really, a clip on tie. I think that’s worse than lighting up. How old was this idiot?

    • The Guat November 19, 2013 at 9:26 AM #

      Duuuuuuuude. When I turned around to ask him if he was smoking out I saw the tie and couldn’t believe it. Player? Yeah … I don’t know. Who wears a tie with no suit … no shirt even just hanging on a sweater. You would think that people would have some common sense once they were in their early 30s … but I guess not.

  2. brickhousechick November 15, 2013 at 5:51 AM #

    Very funny, Guat! I hate it when someone chooses a seat right next or behind/in front of you when there is a sea of seats available!

    • The Guat November 19, 2013 at 9:28 AM #

      OH MY GOD! That totally kills me too. It’s like the whole parking space thing too. Why do people insist on proximity? You know I’m a fan of personal space.

  3. Aussa Lorens November 15, 2013 at 9:21 AM #

    Haha, at least you got a character out of it! I am so terrified of finding myself in a situation like this that I tend to have backup headphones with me at all times. Also– I am totally that rude person at the grocery store who wears them. I don’t need any new friends, is all.

    • The Guat November 22, 2013 at 1:08 AM #

      Oh yeah … he definitely made for good material. I never thought of back-up headphones, and no you’re not rude. I think people get it when you’re at the market … they’re just tripping because they wish they had brought their headphones too.

  4. The Hook November 16, 2013 at 7:15 AM #

    Love that ending.

    • The Guat November 19, 2013 at 9:31 AM #

      Thanks. I guess I got a little too creative but you got to have an outlet, right?

      • The Hook November 20, 2013 at 3:46 AM #

        There’s no such thing as being to creative. Ever.

  5. lameadventures November 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM #

    I feel your pain. It seems to me that this attention whore intentionally sat by you. What a jerk. Did this character buy his rainbow when someone choked him with a clip-on tie?

    • The Guat November 19, 2013 at 9:34 AM #

      HA! Oh my God. You crack me up. Yes he was a total jackass attention whore. I can only imagine what you would have said or done had you been on the train. If we were both on the train together I think it would have been an awesome Lame Adventure … one for the books.

      • lameadventures November 19, 2013 at 10:09 AM #

        Alone I would have suffered in silence, but accompanied with you: guaranteed Lame Adventure.

  6. Emily @ Adventures of a Dog Mom February 15, 2014 at 2:28 PM #

    Awesome ending… dies on a train… perfect. Glad you shared this on Susie’s blog.

    • The Guat February 18, 2014 at 12:01 AM #

      Thanks so much! Figured it would be an awesome ending to a not so awesome train ride. 🙂

  7. Kitt Crescendo February 15, 2014 at 3:22 PM #

    LOLOL! Headphones are AWESOME when you want to avoid someone. I’ve learned to keep a spare set in my purse pocket when we travel (because it never fails, hubby forgets his). Sometimes I pull my headphones out, sometimes not…but I don’t know when the last time I rode a train was. On a plane….yeah…that’s where I’ve had my interesting encounters with people who must have ingested a lot of herbal ‘supplements.’ Had one kid tell me that the Philippines was going to rule the world after I told him that I spoke the language. He was going to some “foreign” country that many people had never heard of because he was fluent in their language. When I asked him which one, he said Denmark. Kid you not. Boy I wish I’d had headphones for him…but that was before we all started using our cell phones as music players, etc. Maybe you could kill him off with your guy? 😉

    • The Guat February 18, 2014 at 12:01 AM #

      HA! So glad you liked the story. I knew other writers would definitely appreciate the humor of this situation and how I was able to finally get something positive out of it. 🙂 And so glad that you’re always prepared! Denmark? Dude! You should have like a medal or something for best wife ever. Headphones … definitely earn you points.

      • Kitt Crescendo February 18, 2014 at 5:35 AM #

        Right? You should’ve seen the way my jaw dropped when he said the Philippines was going to be a world power. I finally took pity and said…”do you mean China? Because the Philippines is this tiny cluster of islands with no nuclear threat & strong ties to the US.”

  8. Audrey Kalman February 15, 2014 at 3:28 PM #

    Hi… found you through Susie’s site. How fitting that you used the encounter for your own ends!

    • The Guat February 17, 2014 at 11:58 PM #

      Ha! Thanks for stopping by. And yes that ending was definitely awesome. So glad I was able to make something positive out of something so annoying and negative. 🙂

  9. Austin February 15, 2014 at 4:16 PM #

    Susie sent me! At least you got a new character out of that mess, right? 🙂

    • The Guat February 17, 2014 at 11:57 PM #

      Glad you stopped by … Susie’s parties are always fun. So many people and all kinds of mingling and yes at least I did get a chance to ax somebody out without repercussions 🙂

  10. susielindau February 16, 2014 at 8:56 AM #

    I never thought of headphones as a deterrent. I’ll have to try them!
    He may have been autistic, but either way he was annoying!!!
    Thanks for the wine and coming to the party! It’s still rolling!

    • The Guat February 17, 2014 at 11:51 PM #

      Dude we definitely need to be packing massive sets of these…extras of extras 🙂 Your parties are always rocking and bring the best surprises. Read some new stuff that was pretty cool.

  11. Kassandra Lamb February 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM #

    LOL The joys of being a writer. We can kill off annoying people without repercussions!

    • The Guat February 17, 2014 at 11:48 PM #

      Dude! It’s definitely awesome to get to knock someone off and let your imagination go wild. Love that it’s not accompanied by the potential of jail time.

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