Silence isn’t always golden after all

You get to know the people you ride with on the train every day. Not really KNOW the people, but become accustomed to them and recognize them. I’m sure they really recognize me since I’m the gaijin in the car.

There’s the short guy with the really bad toupee that is always pushing to get to a seat. There’s the tall guy who looks almost muscular but might be bordering on fat as soon as his metabolism slows. There’s the little guy that always has a pack of cigarettes in his front pocket and somehow manages to wear his glasses over the hair on the side of his head (how DOES he put his glasses on?). There’s the guy that kneads his hair as he reads the paper. There’s the junior high school student who I noticed today has a very asymmetric head (he just got all his hair cut off) and looks like he’s going on 50. I need to spot him because I know he gets off at the next station so I can sit down when he gets off if I stand in front of him. I have tons that I can describe – we are together every weekday morning.

About 3 months ago, two guys started taking the train from Nagoya Station. They were very “stylish” and by “stylish” I mean not stylish at all. Lot’s of pink with cursive writing, sweat pants, bad English, and almost trucker hats. Not the awful trucker hats that we saw from Von Dutch or Ed Hardy, but almost just as hideous. One guy wears his hair in a strange top knot as well. Except it is a pretty unsuccessful top knot and is more Pebbles than sumo.

These guys were even more remarkable because they were SO loud. Every morning they would be talking, usually top knot guy yammering at white sweat pants guy. It didn’t matter if they were on or off the train, “blah, blah, blah,” “maji de”, “blah, blah, blah,” “uso, “blah, blah, blah.” It DROVE me crazy. The train is still my relaxation time, in spite of the fact that I often scan my BlechBerry to see what evil awaits when I arrive at work. These two were so loud though, and they talked about nothing.

Yesterday, I didn’t hear them at all and I thought that perhaps they were not riding the train. I thought though that I saw at least one of them sitting waiting for the train. Today I noticed them, sitting and waiting for the train, with a seat between them and with their headphones in. They kind of came on the train together but stood apart. Then they kept there headphones in. No eye contact, making no effort to communicate. A few times top knot looked at white sweats, but no interaction.

What happened? I can only guess that they had some sort of disagreement and were no longer talking. Surely they had not run out of things to say because they constantly talked up until yesterday. Their silence all of a sudden actually disturbed me more than their yammering, and now I hope they renew their friendship. Did I wish poorly on them? I hope not. Top knot looked very sad. Their yammering will be music to my ears!