Tag Archives: Red Letters

People on the Max – The Young Boy

The Max is a lite rail public transportation system in Portland, OR. and like any type of mass transportation a very interesting cross section of people ride it for various reasons. Some are commuters going to and from work, others are visiting the downtown area to see a show or go to dinner, others use it to meet up with their buds and run around, while others use it as a way to get out of the cold of night or heat of day.


I however, am a tourist using it to visit my daughter who attends college in downtown Portland. And as I do whenever I go anywhere, I observe the people around me and wonder what they are thinking, wonder what makes them do what they do. This post is one of those observations I made during a trip back from downtown Portland to my hotel.


After the incident with the older gentleman, I waited at Pioneer Square for the Yellow Line to arrive. A couple with a four year old and a newborn in a stroller were waiting a little ways down from me. The four year old boy had excitement written across his face, his eyes were so widely opened they must have been two sizes bigger than normal.


“What an adventure!”


“First, Daddy and Mommy took me on the train to go shopping! We got to see all of the big, big buildings and then we had ice cream, my favorite flavor too, chocolate!”


“And I got to eat a cheeseburger! With fries and everything!”


“Even got to have a coke in a glass with a straw! Mommy never lets me drink from a glass, but this time she did!”


“I must be getting big, now that I got to drink from a glass all by myself.”


“Hey what’s this big silver box?”


The boy ran away from his parents to the Ticket dispenser trying to get a better look at the curious silver box with Blue, Yellow and Red letters on it.


“What’s this? Could it be some sort of game?”


“It has buttons on it! Maybe I can reach them and push em! Maybe it will give me something!”


The boy reached up as high as he could and tried to reach the buttons on the front of the ticket dispenser, but couldn’t quite reach them.


“Hmph! I guess I need to get daddy to help me.”


“Daddy!”, the boy screamed as he ran over to his parents grabbing his father’s hand and tugging him towards the the ticket dispenser.


“What’s This Daddy?”, the boy said loudly with excitement in his voice.


“Help me make it work, Daddy!”


The father rolled his eyes, tired from expending way too much energy, but the father patiently reached down and lifted the boy up an explained the ticket dispenser to his son.


“Daddy! Can I buy a ticket!”, the boy exclaimed.


“No son, we already have ours, we got them earlier before we came. Don’t you remember? You helped me buy them, You put the dollars in the machine up at Echo Park.”


“But, Daddy, I want to buy another ticket!”


“No son, the train is coming we need to get ready to get on it so we can go home.”


“But, Daddy, I want to buy another ticket!”


The boy started to cry, trying to embarrass his father into letting him buy another ticket. But, it didn’t work, the father walked back over to his wife and the newborn and didn’t even blink an eye.


Just then the Yellow Line pulled up and the doors opened, I climbed on the train and found a seat in the middle of the car. The family boarded the train as well.


“Daddy, let’s set up there!”, the boy was pointing at some seats that were elevated over the wheels of the train.


The father pushed the stroller to the steps and then lifted it up the single step and sat it down next to the fours chairs. The little four year old boy climbed up in the seat next to the window, standing, he held his hands up to cup his eyes so he could see out as the train pulled away.


“What an adventure!”


“I get to ride the train again!”


“Wow! look at all the big buildings!”


The boy dropped to his knees after awhile, still looking out the window at the buildings.


Soon, he went from kneeling to sitting, too tired to look anymore.


Then he was fast asleep, worn out by a day of adventure and exciting new discoveries.


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