Friday, 14 September 2012

A morning commute

When I was in New York this summer, I lived in Hamilton Heights and worked all the way to Bushwick. It was a LONG commute - about  one hour and a few minutes of my day. But had I not endured all these hours on the subway, I doubt I would have witnessed pretty much every vignette of new york life you can imagine. Oh the things I saw, heard, and smelled!
One time on the 1 train, a guy sitting beside me insisted on demonstrating to me the newly acquired flexibility of his broken arm. I declined and let out a nervous laugh. Broken arm guy shrugged one shoulder in sign of indifference. Seconds after, another stranger sitting across from me scolded me for making fun of him. This is one of many examples of the most unlikely interactions I had with other riders.
The weirdest, most shocking incident happened towards the end of a morning commute to work on the J train, between the Flushing and Myrtle av. stops. There were a few other people around me, but nothing compared to the manhattan-bound commuting madness. Almost everyone gets off before crossing the East River. Enjoying the empty seats, I started changing into my work shoes. Suddenly, I noticed the homeless man who had been sitting diagonally across from me since Marcy Av station. We locked eyes. Oh man, I knew that look
I have worked with children since 2007, as a day care assistant and as a babysitter. I am very familiar with that look. I just had never seen it in an adult man before. To the untrained eye, it may be confused with the "glazed look", but it reflects the mindset of a person experiencing full concentration, pleasure, and slight embarrassment. More often than not, this look is accompanied by a semi-open mouth and a slight frown. This man was, without a doubt in my heart, pooping. Seconds later, the most foul smell invaded the subway car, making it impossible to disprove my hypothesis.
Not giving a f*** about the $75 fine, I made my way to the next car. Of course, not before exchanging one last glance with the homeless man. He now sported a very different look of utter satisfaction and mischief.

Originally posted here
MTA subway map, zoom on Manhattan-Brooklyn line

No comments:

Post a Comment

or connect with me on twitter @rearaniva