17 September 2005

Mess transit

I walked out to DUMBO today -- about which more later -- but it was so hot and muggy that I had to take the subway back. Big mistake. Not only are the subway platforms 10 degrees hotter than the streets, the 2 train wasn't running. I had to take a ferkakte mix of the 4 train to Bowling Green, changing to the downtown platform where the 5 train would take me uptown on the west side.

Why is it when they are doing repairs on a subway line they can just substitute another train? If they're working on the 2, why can the 5 run on its line? It makes no sense.

It took me about an hour to get home, which doesn't sound like that long, but in the unairconditioned 5 train, that stopped at every station for five minutes -- to tell all the boarding passengers that this wasn't the 5 train, really, it was the 5 train running on the 2 line, and why that takes five minutes to explain I don't know, but since it was one of the new trains with the LED sign announcing the station and time, I know it was that long -- there was a woman. A crazy woman.

The woman was tiny, and black, and looked like she was doing some androgynous tiny rapper thing with her yellow polo shirt buttoned up to the top and her backwards red cap. She sat directly across from me, and there was something about her that I couldn't take my eyes off. But instinct told me that she was one of those people who really didn't like being looked at, even by accident, so I tried not to. I didn't have a book, though, so it was hard.

After a while, she started muttering. "Bitch, she keep staring right at me, like she retarded."

Was it me, the retarded one? I had looked at nothing but the floor for several minutes.

"Retarded, retarded, that bitch, retarded, retarded, in the head, she retarded."

Five minutes at Chambers Street.

I was pretty sure it wasn't me she was talking about, but her outbursts were making it harder not to look at her. Was it the girl with the yellow flowers on her skirt and blue sandals? The girl turned away so as not to be in the woman's line of sight.

"Retarded, retarded, retarded."

The car was too crowded to move away from her, though it was clear people wanted to. She was small; I probably could have taken her in a fair fight.

"Retarded, she retarded, retarded."

Another five minutes at 42nd Street.

72nd Street did not come fast enough.


Blogger Pedestrian Rage said...

Yikes! That's pretty scary. For what it's worth, you don't look the least bit retarded to me.

7:56 PM  
Blogger PG said...

This sounds just like the British 'public' transport system which 'They' are trying to get everyone to use - trouble is, it's often full of downright strange and often worrying people, and once you're trapped in a vehicle with them...

Poor you! That was a vewry long five minutes.

5:12 AM  
Blogger PG said...

sorry, a horrendous typo there..'very'.

5:14 AM  

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