Subway Story When I arrived in New York a year ago, I thought that I was cursed with having interesting subway mates. It was a couple of months before I realized that was just how the subway is here in the city. And for every pair of construction workers beating the shit out of each other with their hard hats, there's a quiet elderly woman staring into space methodically popping bubblewrap.
With the "This Stuff Happens to Everyone" Caveat, yesterday I get to spend time with my favorite collection of misfits. I thought I was blessed on the way to work when I got to ride next to a man working dilligently editing his script for "But I'm a Cheerleader--the Musical." Little did I know that I was in for a treat on the way home as well.
I was able to sit down, but was nevertheless stuck between two people that seemed to be competing with each other in terms of twitchiness. They both had perfectly good excuses, though. The guy on my right elbowed me a couple times in his attempt to reach into his left pocket, a long spelunking expedition that eventually produced real results--his pack of Nicorette gum...Nicotine gum for those who have gone cold turkey. He popped two into his mouth, chewed less than half a dozen times, and, as near as I could tell without staring, swallowed them.
Not to be outdone, the guy on my right spent most of his time jittering, sniffling, and rubbing his nose, all the time compulsively reading and rereading the February 10th entry in his Narcotics Anonymous daybook. I don't know if it was doing him all that much good, but I sure as hell came out of the entire trip wanting some drugs.
Luckily, I seem to have thus far missed out on the crazier/louder/more violent members of the subway community. I'm sure they're waiting out there for me someday, so at least I have that to look forward to.