Imagine rush hour at 59th and Lex. 15 Brooklyn bound R trains pass you by before the next Queens bound R (you just missed the earlier one) pulls into the station. As the train doors open, 10 people step out to allow 100 to step in. The door closes just as you enter which is unfortunate for the people behind you. The R lurches forward as the conductor's tired voice sounds overhead. There is no such thing as a happy conductor, a perky face in the crowd, people who actually give up their seats for the elderly, a clean subway car, "light travelers," and let's admit it - no one takes coffee on the train so they can drink it. Styrofoam coffee cups were built to be spilt on the train. 10 seconds into the tunnel and the conductor announces "Ntranhedladsadgennelmen, dlaysorifortrobl" which can be interpreted as "N train ahead, ladies and gentlemen, delays - sorry for trouble" or it could mean "You're all a bunch of noodleheads - hope you choke." It doesn't matter either way because no one listens. 10 seconds later, the train stops, so my first theory must have been correct but you can't assume the train stops in any ordinary way! Oh, no, first the wheels brake with terrible, monstrous wails of protest. Then the train stops, and finally the people stop. Naturally, the only ones standing are the half-drunken lechers, the senior citizens, and the bag ladies. So the next things you know, some lecher has got his hand in your pocket, you're stepping on a senior citizen who's screaming bloody murder, and you are being pelted with fruit. The conductor chooses that moment to interrupt our delightful romp to announce the continuation of our journey. The train pounds forward as if to make up for lost time. The bag ladies' fruits are squashed beyond repair by the time we arrive at the next stop but the lecher has his hand out of my pocket (and probably in someone else's). Everyone straightens up and the car doors open. 10 people knock me over in the process of exiting and 100 more people run me over trying to squish in. 10 more stops and I'm home! 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.