After spending a lovely Friday/Saturday in Walnut Creek with a great guy — I was on my way back home to San Francisco. Just sitting patiently in seat on the BART train headed out of the Pleasant Hill rail station, a sweet looking lady walked over to me and asked if she could sit with me. Being back in California I have been working on improving my bad New England ways so that I can repsond when strangers say “hi” or make friendly eye contact — so, I said “sure!” in my friendliest voice while I was trying, in my head, to understand why she wanted to sit with me when there were dozens of empty seats all thru the train. …but, no, she wanted to sit with me.

As our conversation started I began to curse myself for not having put my walkman on when I first sat down. Here is the conversation — and, you will note that I went out of my to be friendly and polite.

“Honey, I wanted to tell you what happened to me last night”


“Yes! I have been targeted by the Bush Administration as a threat to the moral fiber of the country! Do you know why?”

…panick was sitting in it, but I pushed it down deep inside of me —

“Um, no. Why?”

“I am a woman of color, and child, you are a homosexual. Are you not?”

“That is horrible. Yes, I am gay”

“I knew it! My son is gay. I would love for you to meet him. He needs a nice white Jewish boyfriend”

“Really?” ….I focus on the fact that I can escape by claiming any stop is mine.

“Yes, but you see last night when I was walking thru my living room the secret service shot gamma rays thru my living room window right a me! I went flying thru the room! And, now I have radiation poisoning!”

“Oh my God! Did you go to the hospital or the police?”

“Honey, the police don’t want to talk to no black woman who is being targeted by the US Republican government now do they? And, I did call the hospital but they want to pretend like I am crazy — but, you see, they are in on it too. Why do you think they run in the glass room when they shoot your xrays?”

I don’t say anything. I feel lost and “a scared”

“Do you know why, child?”

“No. Why?”

“Because the xray takers are working with the Bush administration to wipe all of us minortiy peoples out!”

“Oh no! Well, that is horrible!”

“Um, hmmm! Now, I don’t want to stay here with you too long cause I don’t want those gamma ray spys to see me talking to you — but I just had to tell you to be careful and to warn your gay friends”

“I really appreciae it”

“You know, early this morning the spirit of Karen Silkwood came by my place to talk to me! She told me to move — to leave the country! I asked her if she wanted to pay my bills to get me out of the country and she just laughed. She seems like a sweet girl. It is a dirty shame what those gamma ray spys did to her!”

“Wow! That is bad!” …oh, God — please get this train to the next station stop!

“What do you think I should do? I can tell you’re an educated boy — all of you sweet Jewish boys are educated — that is why you’re God’s chosen people!”

“Call Ralph Nadar.”

“Oh! I never thought of that! You are so right! — OK, I need to get away from you so they don’t see us talking — and I am a little worried that I am still a bit radioactive. Honey, can I have your phone number so I can stay in touch with you?”

“Oh! I am sorry this is my stop — I have to run. Listen, you take care and protect yourself from those guys!”

“I will! God bless you! if you see any men with large metalic guns — just remember that they are going to try to shoot you with toxic gamma rays!”

“Ok — You hang in there!”

“Bye, honey and say a prayerf for me!”

“I will! Bye!”

…and I ran out the BART door at Oakland Center or somewhere — but I had to get away from the Gama Ray Lady

May 8, 2005. Uncategorized.


  1. g8s replied:

    She has a SON?!?!

  2. Anonymous replied:

    scary story 😦

    She must have been a Prophet or something to see and notice your sexual orientation ? Hmmm , how could she know you are jewish ? ? ?

    Now that IS Scary ! Maybe Gama Rays are not so bad afterall ??????


  3. Miss Marisol replied:

    What I love about this story is that you weren’t so thrown by her insanity that you couldn’t give her the sound advice to contact Nader.

    Quick thinking!

  4. matty replied:

    g8s — she told me she had a son, but one never knows!

    Werner — Not sure why, but people always think I am Jewish. Always have. I take it as a compliment.

    Miss Marisol — Sometimes, if the planets are moviing in the correct orbits — I manage to think fast on my feet! LOL!

  5. Underling replied:

    Okay…I think this one wins as my favorite Matt story of the past few weeks.

    Mr. Yoshi was pretty good, but Gama Ray Lady is now my favorite.

  6. Karyn replied:

    Wait. Wait. I have to adjust to the spinning…

    Ok. First thing’s first. Those “BAD New England Ways” Aren’t looking so bad now are they!! This story is a prime example of why I LOATHE public transportation! I can adjust my comfort zone in a physical way if necessary and I’m pretty chatty, it’s not hard for me to be friendly or anything, but I HATE IT when the public sphere takes that as an open invitation to slather on the lunacy. Jesus! Sorry, as one of The Chosen People, I hope that didn’t offend you…

    I am going to choose the Mr Yoshi story over this as my favorite, only because this one made me start to break out in hives with anxiety thinking about feeling trapped with Madame Gamma Ray.

    My favorite part about this is you, as always, and how clever and unphased you are by things! I’d have wept and curled up in a fetal position on the floor, but you suggested calling Nader… you are too much… i just love you.

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