I took the streetcar to work earlier this week. It takes slightly less time than it would take if I walked. The streetcar chugs along at traffic pace and stops every two blocks or so. It’s clean and practically sterile compared to other public transportation, and normally people smell pretty good.
Since the streetcar is about as fast as a grazing bovine, it allows a lot of staring out the window and a different perspective of the city. I watched a young guy getting out of his car. And I wouldn’t have noticed him, except that he wasn’t wearing a shirt. It’s not “warm” in the morning in Portland, even in the summertime. You need a sweatshirt in the morning.
But this was just the kind of guy you would hope to see without a shirt. Young, lean, muscled, probably gay. Too cute to be completely straight anyway. If you have a fabulous body, and have your shirt off on a chilly morning, you likely have an agenda. If you DON’T have a fabulous body, and you have your shirt off on a chilly morning, you are likely hungover and/or kicked out of the house by an angry spouse. And you are doing a public disservice. Please wear your shirt.
I watched the pretty boy and wondered how cold and gay he must be. As the streetcar moved, he dropped from my field of vision. I turned my eyes forward, and kept myself from craning my neck. Because that would be obvious and embarrassing. And as I looked ahead, I noticed the two women sitting in the seats in front of me doing the same thing I was. We all turned our heads in unison. Synchronized ogling. It was perfect.
I felt some unacknowledged heterosexual sisterly bonding with strangers on the street car. It’s like we were best friends for 3 seconds.