Train Story #2
Riding home from muay thai. Three really drunk guys, loud and stinking - laborers - stagger onto the train. One guy loudly wants to be my friend, wants to practice English, won't leave me alone, breathing on me. He asks me why I won't talk to him, and I look him dead in the eyes and say, "Anta nya, hanashitaku neh." ("I don't want to talk to some thing like you")
He punches me in the stomach. It doesn't hurt. I was doing three hundred opposite knee to head crunch sit-ups in a set. (I know, this is kind of getting to be a theme). I am tired and pissed. I give him a two handed shove, and he flies through the air just as the train has pulled into the station and the doors open. He lands - sort of. One leg is out of the train on the platform, bent double, the other sinks down to mid-thigh between the platform and the train. Everyone is staring with their mouths open. He's screaming in terror, and perhaps because he's so low, the conductor at the end of the train doesn't see him and whistles that he's closing the doors and the trains about to depart.
I leap forward like a tiger (hey, it's my story and I'll choose to describe how I leap!), grab him under the armpits, yell, "STAND!" and pluck him up and out of his dilemma. He was dangling in my hands, and I thought, "Where the hell do I put him?" My first instinct was on the platform and then the doors would close and we'd drive off, but his two friends, mouths open and drooling drunk, were still on the train. So I put him back on.
Everyone heaves a sigh of relief in that typical "I'm not really watching and didn't see anything" Japanese way - . . . . . and I had a new friend. He was all over me. "You saved my life. I love you. You are the best gaijin who ever lived. Let me hug you. Please, just one hug. We can go out drinking. We still have money left, right guys? (two nods, drool training off one chin and snot off the other's nose). C'mon gaijin-san. Drink with us. You saved my life, I owe you forever."
The doors to the train opened. It was the last train. I was fifteen stops from my home. I RAN off the train. The doors closed. Walking, I arrived home at 3:30 in the morning.