Would you sit next to this guy?

It’s been since August, 2011 I last posted something for ‘Standing Room Only’ a feature on my site that centers around commuting on BART, the light rail system in the Oakland/San Francisco area. The last time it was Anonymous mentioned in a story as they threatened cyberwar against BART, after the cellular service was shut off in downtown San Francisco stations preventing protesters from “organizing.”

This time, it’s a personal experience while riding the train. On May 19th my wife, God love her, shaved my head. First time since before we met about 9 years ago. She was not fond of the look, citing my head was “ugly.” I can accept that coming from a woman who has cut hear for 25 years or so. Now, she being my wife and me having a “stylist” as opposed to a barber she does what she wants to with my hair. Unfortunately there are times I have trouble getting an appointment to see her and the hair really starts to look shaggy.

So on May 19th something came over her and she shaved my head. It was short, nearly as short as how I wore it before I met her. Short enough you could call me a “skinhead” it was THAT short. The story doesn’t end there, it’s merely the beginning. A few months prior I bought a pair of Dr. Martens. Yes, these are the boots that are favored by skinheads. You see a theme developing here?

So the first day I go to work after my haircut I arrive at North Concord and walk to the platform to wait for my train. I get on, like I do every morning and ride it to Lake Merritt. This time, something was different. By Lafayette Station, the first car I was sitting in was full, except for one seat. That seat was next to me, yet there were people standing.

My morning is routine when I am on the train, I am reading a book on my Nook Color, minding my own business. Yet this day, no one would take the seat next to me. It didn’t take long to put the haircut and the boots together to realize many of these commuters probably thought I was a skinhead. Tell you the truth, doesn’t matter to me, gives me more room to stretch out on my 42 minute ride to work.

It is interesting to see the stares and glaces I get from people who are quick to label my look without knowing me. I don’t mind, label away people seem to be very good at that. My coworkers were a bit startled when I first walked in, but it seems to be a going joke now. Thankfully it’s not winter or I would look like the guy in the picture above, wearing my olive green flight jacket. Talk about looking the part.

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