Friday, February 19, 2010

Elbow Room

Bring me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses....

The Statue of Liberty beckons folks from all walks of life, with this motto. And indeed they arrive. They come in droves. They are tired. They are poor. And they are huddled. On the subway. During rush hour.

This rush hour 6 Train simply doesn't have enough Elbow Room to accommodate all of these huddled masses.

Either that, or I'm rubbing elbows with the wrong folks.

Yesterday's evening commute was one for the books.

First of all, I left work around 6ish. The rush has started to die a little bit by then, as it seems the trains are much more crowded at 5:00. But yesterday for some reason, there were barely any seats left. I found one on the end. There was a large woman next to me and a small space (probably about a foot and a half or so) between us. Enter Crazy Subway Guy (CSG) at Spring Street. He chooses to squeeze into that tiny spot. The woman on the other side had a little bit of room on her other side, so she must have slid over a bit. I, however, was on an end, and there was nowhere else to scoot in order to create more room. CSG digs his elbows into my side. He continues to push me and elbow me. Finally I had enough.

"Listen Buddy, I don't mind if you sit down, but seating is tight and your elbows in my ribs are very uncomfortable."

He doesn't respond to my request, but he sits still for a moment and then VERY deliberately, takes his elbow and rams it into my side.

"Okay, you win."

I get up and move to the back of the train where I stand. And that's when I observe him spitting on the floor. OMG, I think......he is going to SPIT on me. Fortunately a huddled mass of more people got on the train, separating me from Mr. CSG. He got off at Grand Central. He did not spit on me. Just the floor. Which is disgusting. People have dogs and luggage and boxes and bags that they put on the floor of the subway. Gross. But that incident has ended, at least.

Next, I overheard this conversation:
Girl 1: What do you think of people who meet on the subway?
Girl 2: I think it's disgusting. Especially when it's smelly like Indian or Chinese.
Girl 1: {Appalled look on her face}
Girl 2: Why are you looking at me like that? I think it's disrespectful when they bring their food and eat on the train.
Girl 1: I said what do you think of people who MEET on the train, not EAT on the train!

This made me chuckle. And for the record, I have seen many a-person eat on the train. It grosses me out too. And people do indeed pick the smelliest foods to stuff into their faces. It amazes me that it could even be POSSIBLE to enjoy your supper on a crowded train, a train where people spit and sneeze and smush up next to you, practically sitting on your lap.

Also- my opinion on people who MEET on the train: more power to them. I've never really met anyone on the subway myself, but my friend's grandparents met that way and were married happily for 61 years.

So then I got off the train and there was a homeless man with a beer in a brown paper bag at his side, passed out on one of those big black mysterious boxes on the platform. What the heck do those big black boxes contain anyhow? What are they there for? For drunk people who pass out upon them? For rats who scurry underneath them? Is there a secret panel that opens on them and bundles of money are stored inside them? I don't know the answer.

Then I looked at the floor. The homeless man had several brown bags with beer bottles littering the floor around the black box. Why can't people just use the garbage can that exists less than ten feet away?

Common courtesy: has it become as passe' as myspace? (Aside: Much like common courtesy, I miss myspace. I've thought about revving it back up again, but to no avail..... after all, even Tom doesn't check his myspace page anymore.)

Whatever. I had DVR'd LOST the other night and I was itching to get home and watch it. On my couch. Where elbow room runs aplenty.

No comments: