This morning, as I walk towards my big green chariot, I notice some sounds coming from the train that are quite unusual.
On a typical morning commute, if you listen carefully, you can hear the barely audible hum of apathy and despair possessed by fellow commuters.
You can also hear remnants of Canada’s tin pot navy at work, as I’m convinced this train was shoddily constructed with the same recycled materials.
No bump in the road goes unnoticed, as Nessie begrudgingly makes its way up and down the Lakeshore line.
It doesn’t chug.
It coughs in protest.
It doesn’t even close his mouth.
What a jerk.
I guess if I were composed of body parts from 1910, I’d be coughing too.
And I likely wouldn’t care whom I’ve infected.
At that point, opening my eyes from each sneeze, I would wonder if I had crossed over.
The fact that the train itself is green reminds me of phlegm, kryptonite and ooze.
But at least now I know the train’s secrets.
Well played, Chariot. Well played.
As I’m about to congratulate myself for my astute observations, Steve interrupts my self-congratulatory hug.
“Hey! Are you ready for a loud train ride today?!”
Isn’t it always? Maybe he’s become immune to how loud this diseased vessel is.
He nods behind him and I see a large group of young people chatting away.
There’s a mass of them.
Tweens. That’s what I heard on the way to the train.
I make a mental note that they’re all sitting in the accessibility car.
I’m pleased they’ve taken the initiative to self-identify as having special needs.
Ah. Most likely their parents did that for them.
“What are THEY doing here?!!”
My face contorts into a level of horror and disgust.
I glare at this talkative, happy, carefree group.
They look…..pleased to be on the train.
They look….like they enjoy each other’s company.
They look….like they’re having fun.
At this point, I’m convinced my face looks the same as the Grinch when he glares at those damn Whos down in Whoville.
Steve’s chuckle confirms this.
“Oh, didn’t you know? Today is WE day!” his look of amusement makes me realize I need to change my facial expression.
“Oh! Right!” I say, pretending to be in the know.
“What the hell is that?!?” I change my mind.
Steve enjoys being asked questions. It adds an element of intrigue to his usual announcing script.
“Oh, it’s some sort of leadership day for Youth. It’s an all day thing and takes place in downtown Toronto.”
As a rule, I don’t like anything that names itself after my least favourite pronoun.
I’m concerned how this concept is being entrenched into feeble young minds.
Once you start saying “we”, it’s only a matter of time before more offensive words become part of your vocabulary, like us and together.
Slowly but surely, you’ll be supporting others and joining groups, and committees.
Bile appears to be coming up to my mouth.
You’ll have lots of time on your hands to chair and participate in several meetings!
My body shivers.
All of this inclusiveness will make you a part of a team.
The Dove commercial in the train car erupts into laughter, as if on cue.
The most deviant term of all.
I decide that it’s ignorant to be so ill informed about things, so I do a quick review of the WE Day website to educate myself and Steve.
I read the mandate out loud:
Today, we are millions of passionate youth, women and men working together to shift the world from “me” to “we.”
“What’s wrong with me?” I ask.
But Steve knows better than to answer that.
“It’s going to be a super loud and busy day with all the youth commuting to the city!”
Steve and I stare some more inside the accessibility cabin.
The Tweens are animated. They are laughing, sharing stories and having a good time.
The train hasn’t even left the station.
As I rub my hairless chin, I observe them and think;
Maybe one can enjoy teams and groups.
Maybe one can enjoy commuting.
Maybe cultivating a we mentality at a young age will support our youth in ways our society has yet to even imagine.
I look past Steve and point towards the broom hanging by the fire extinguisher.
“Maybe we can use this as a weapon if they get out of line today!”
WE day is already working out.