On a crowded El car during rush hour I always notice the crowded commute’s early exit preparers. The person either wants to make sure they’re one of the first to exit or they’re panicked that they’ll miss their exit in the sea of people. Depending on my life condition, I’ll find this bemusing to enraging. It shows such a lack of faith in the people who are enduring & maintaining this tenuous peace agreement while squeezed into a train. Or if I’m feeling less charitable, it shows a selfish lack of awareness that we all have places to be and a set time to be at those places. When I have conscientiously put my backpack between my feet and balanced myself for 20 minutes, I do not want to make room in the aisle for someone sitting to make their way to an exit especially if that’s my exit too. I’ve never witnessed someone miss their exit unless they weren’t paying attention.
Now that I’ve moved, I’m not on the El as long and it’s not quite so crowded. I’ve never had to aggressively squeeze myself into the train car. After the first stop I can often find a seat and do a quick sketch until the next stop and my exit. I was thwarted yesterday in making a more complete sketch by an early exit preparer. I smiled at the familiar pet peeve. It didn’t enrage me that day but I did find a certain satisfaction labeling my drawing.