Let’s take the subway
In order to avoid an airport-security situation when I take a taxi, I will be embracing the subway.
The worst part about the subway is that other people who are also taking the subway surround you. So you make it onto the platform after swiping your Metro Card one million times—which is not your fault because you’re really great at swiping and is likely a problem with the machine–and then you wait.
Since people love provoking inanimate objects, once you’re waiting for the subway and it refuses to come, people will start looking down the tracks, as if the train is a fucking dragon and only responds to temptation. Then everyone immediately starts to justify their actions. “Where is the train?” “It should really be here by now.” When what they really mean is, “Did you see me just now? I was acting with a purpose. I was motivated by both a curiosity and an annoyance. That’s why I did it.”
When I do make it on the subway it always feels as if, just before I got on, everyone got into an organized group so that they could make the most effective obstacle course before I arrived. “Ok, you over there with the big coat, stand by the door. DO NOT MOVE. Whatever happens, you are a fixed object; think of yourself as the Statue of Liberty: you are greeting but you are a beacon and not an escort. Great. Then you over there, with the small child, just put her in the stroller, come on. I see that it is one of those special strollers, perhaps you call it a “pram”, but I like the size and let’s work with that.” As the entire world works against me, there are even specific individuals who do a good job just on their own. For example, there will probably be at least one guy who takes up about two seats; not because he’s fat, but because his legs are spread so far apart that his dick better be the size of Santa’s bundle of toys, or he’s overdoing it.
Then there’s this awkward half seat in between the guy with the big package and an actual seat where you could sit down if that was what you really needed, but someone will come and stand in front of the seat. Nope, they won’t sit down because they don’t need to sit down; they don’t mind standing because they aren’t lazy and they want you to know that and recognize their strength and perseverance. Plus, they have positioned themselves directly in front of this space so that you have to ask them if they want that seat—so they can inform you, no, in fact, they are perfectly happy reading their Economist (yes! I always read The Economist on the train because not only do I exercise on my way to work but I also educate myself) standing up.
Sometimes you’re lucky though. I’ve seen this one guy on the subway like three times. It’s probably destiny. Next time I see him I want to be like “Hey, our kids are going to love this story.”
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