Subway Diary Week #3

In Subway Diary on January 27, 2008 at 2:30 am

I’m a bad person.

I had twenty minutes to get from 76th/1st to Grand Central Station. VERY COLD OUT!

The 6 train came right away. I hopped on and pulled my apple out of my bag. As I’m polishing it, the middle door swings open and in he walks. Limp, crumpled cup, long facial hair, appears to have a disfigured hand, but can’t be sure. Raspy voice.

“Excuse me ladies and gentleman. I’m having a hard time. If you can spare any change, or any bit of food it would be greatly appreciated.-”

(I’m paraphrasing, I had my iPod on.) He spots me leaning. “Could you spare anything? I’m crippled.”

I just shook my head. I may have mouthed a, “sorry.” He limped away and started in on a pretty woman reading. It wouldn’t have deprived me of much to give him my apple. I’m having remorse. After I bit into the apple, I realized I should’ve given it away.

I have to do this commute for the next three Fridays. Maybe our paths will cross. Maybe I should leave a craigslist posting for him.

Friday Jan. 25th, 12:14pm, 6 train from 77th Street to Grand Central.

**This is part of a series entitled Subway Diary. These anecdotes are based on my real interactions on the NYC Subway. The basis of Coffee Cup (a theatre co)’s upcoming show in May at the Access Theatre in Manhattan.

  1. I was on the PATH train the other day and as usual I had to fight for a seat (I am very proud of my assertiveness when it comes to this) and there was a very hearty, shall we say, voluptuously endowed in the buttock area woman beside me, therefore leaving very little seat room for my own voluptuous buttocks and then the crazy dude comes in and just has to sit beside me. Normally I would get up and move, but the seat was heated (god bless whoever thought of that…side note: first time I sat in a warm seat I was perfectly convinced I just landed in warm urine, to my relief I realized the PATH train does something right). So there I was with crazy man, but no – I instead of being intimidated, or agitated decided to understand what he was saying. Obviously he was having a conversation with someone. Not me. But his OTHER friend in his head, in fact, I believe there were several friends in their, oh no – actually, it appears they may not all be friends, some seem rather agitated at each other. Either way, I’d like to know what they are all talking about. I mean he’s asking questions and some are responding. How interesting if you think about it – he is never alone. He always has his other friends.

    I wonder, what happens if one is hungry and the other isn’t? If one is cold, the other hot? Oh, I think they are having that conversation now as one of them wants to take off his coat – or pull out a knife, I prepare to leave my warm seat in a hurry, just in case his hand does something abrupt. Nope, just loosening his jacket.

    Well, that’s settled, I’m envious. He has a whole party going on in his head. I’m frustrated, because they all seem very keen on not letting the outside world know what they are talking about because none of them enunciate. Off they go, he goes…..and for once, the rest of us left behind (no, I’m not talking about the people in MY head, I’m talking about my fellow PATH train riders who all pretended not to hear him talk to himself) all smile at each other like we survived something together.

    And I don’t budge in my warm seat.

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