The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Singin’ in the train


Yeah, so, here’s a totally true story about how I started singing Michael Jackson’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” on BART with some random guy.

I was riding back to San Francisco from Lafayette after my hair appointment. And yeah, I get my hair done in Lafayette. Oh, and yeah, I know I hardly have any hair, but I still color it, because I’m not ready to be gray yet. Oh, and yeah, I know that with a faux hawk I look like Ed Grimely.


So anyway, this hair appointment that is every six weeks isn’t just a hair appointment. My sister, my oldest friend Amanda, and my 13-year-old niece Lorelei join me. We all get our hair done together, and then we go out to dinner. I drink several glasses of wine and take BART home. It’s our thing, and our thing is awesome.

So, I was riding home on BART, kinda tipsy as usual — just listening to music, looking at Instagram and trying to stay off Facebook because I don’t want to read about how Donald Trump has gone Full Hitler. It’s depressing.

A man, possibly homeless, definitely off in some way sat down next to me. He pointed at my Star Wars Vans.

Him: “I like your shoes.”
Me: “Thank you.”
Him: “You know those things outside of Oakland? Those structures? Spielberg used them as inspiration for those big walking things in ‘Star Wars.’”
Me: “I know.”

I didn’t bother to correct him that it was George Lucas, not Steven Spielberg, and those things are called AT-ATs and they were in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Wearing Star Wars-shoes is nerdy enough, and I don’t need to school some random guy on Bart about all things Star Wars. Also, Lucas says that’s a myth, but whatever, it’s still a cool story.

At this point, I took out my earbuds. Instead of staring at my phone and reading about other people’s experiences, I was going to talk to this guy.

Him: “I’m not wearing my nice Italian loafers today, because it’s going to rain.”
Me: “I think it’s supposed to rain on Thursday, so you could still wear them for a few days this week.”
Him: “And I have this nice jacket. I bought it in Hollywood in a thrift store. I like to think a famous person used to wear it.”
Me: “It’s a nice coat. I bet someone famous used to own it. It looks good on you, though.”

He went on to tell me that he wants to be a good person, and that he tries to live his life with the morals that he learned from his grandma and great grandma.

Him: “People say that Oakland is a violent city, but I don’t think so.”
Me: “I don’t think so, either. I love Oakland.”
Him: “I think I’m a good person, because I love God. A lot of people say they love God, but they don’t practice what they preach. They don’t really love God.”
Me: “Amen. I wish more people tried to be good people.”
Him: “I just love God so much. You know that song, ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’?”
Me: “Of course I do. That’s Michael Jackson.”
Him: “That’s how I feel about God.” [starts singing] “I just can’t stop loving you. I just can’t stop loving you.”

So then I started singing with him

“I just can’t stop loving you. I just can’t stop loving you. And if I stop … Then tell me, just what will I do. Cuz I just can’t stop loving you.”

He smiled at me, and shook my hand.

Him: “You know your number is 3, right?”
Me: “Is it?”
Him: “Your number is 3. That’s the highest number.”
Me: “How does that work?”
Him: “3 gives off all the positive vibrations. There’s a light around you.”
Me: “That’s good to know. It makes me happy to think there’s a light around me. Thank you.”

At this point, the strap of my purse had fallen off my shoulder. He pushed it back up on my shoulder.

Him: “Be careful. Keep your bag close to you. … When is your birthday?”
Me: “October 2.”
Him: [his eyes got all big] “SEE?! October is 10. 1 + 0 + 2 = 3! 3!”
Me: “I guess I am a 3.”

When we rolled into the Embarcadero station he asked me my name.

Him: “Sonia, it was really good to meet you. Have a good night.”
Me: “It was really nice to meet you, too. Have a good night, sir.”

We shook hands, and he got off the train before I could ask him his name.


Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/podcaster/mother/goober in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, go on adventures with my mighty, mighty good man David and my awesome autistic son, Calvin, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

2 thoughts on “Singin’ in the train

  1. What a wonderful encounter…thank you for sharing…

  2. Pingback: Buh bye, 2015 | The Sonia Show

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