March 31, 2010 § 3 Comments
I couldn’t really think of a clever title for this. Sorry about that.
Anyway, allow me to tell you a story.
It’s been a long day. I didn’t sleep well last night, and was up early this morning because for some ungodly reason my neighbor behind me decided to blast mariachi music through his ghetto fabulous outdoor speaker system. I wasn’t feeling well most of the morning and was unsuccessful at my attempts to nap. At 3 I had to head out to work, but it was pouring outside. I then spent 15 unsuccessful minutes trying to find my rain coat. Following a swim to the subway station, I arrived just in time to miss the train. The good news I got to spend the next twenty minutes waiting in a station that had created it’s own strange weather system that seemed to be a mix of Siberian Tundra, tepid Everglades, and soggy bread.
When the train finally arrived, it was packed. Not quite as packed as the Japanese subway system, but still pretty full. Usually when a train is that packed I try and wait for the next one, but I was already running late, so I girded up my loins and squished on in.
Now I’ve been on packed trains before. But this…this was a special kind of hell. This wasn’t a train full of people–this was a hot, humid train full of wet, angry, frustrated New Yorkers.
I have to digress a little to provide context. First, the winter here in New York this year has been particularly harsh. We got DUMPED on. Over 40″ of snow in a week. But then, in March, the clouds parted, the sun came up, and the winter beast slowly backed back into its cage. It was so nice out. It was warm and happy and the birds were singing–I expected Snow White to appear at any minute. It was so nice. Up until a few days ago. Seems the beast of winter wasn’t quite finished tormenting us. And I tell you what, you tease a New Yorker with something like a warm welcoming spring, and then take it away, you’re poking a bear.
So these people were pissed off. Not only were the trains running late and the rain making everything smell like wet dog, mother nature was jerking them around pretty hard.
By the way, there is a fundamental law of nature that says a crowded train will always move slower. Like, painfully slow. “I may as well have just walked the 120 blocks,” slow.
Luckily the crowd started to thin out and the train started to speed up. The stench of wet, angry New Yorker didn’t go anywhere but at least I eventually got a seat.
I showed up to work 15 minutes late and really wasn’t happy about it. I hate being late to work.
It was a long shift. An eight hour day usually isn’t that hard, but I was already in a bad mood when I got there. I felt like I was back in high school math class; trying not to watch the clock, and every time I do, it’s only been 60 seconds. And occasionally the clock appears to be going backwards.
The icing on this cake made of anger and broken wills was that the theater was hotter than the Molten Core in summer time. It was like a sauna. And when I say that I mean that the only thing that was missing was a couple of fat, hairy old Italian men setting in the corner discussing how they need to, “handle the new union chief, and send him his ‘retirement check’.”
Eight hours and no dinner break later, I was finally on my way home. I was relieved that the rain had gone from ‘monsoon’ to ‘light mist’.
Apparently the subway station didn’t get the memo. Everything was dripping and leaking and oozing what I really hope was just water.
Because it was after midnight I had to deal with the ‘late-night’ subway schedule. For those wondering, the day schedule is a train every 6-12 minutes. The night schedule is a train sitting in the station while you try to swipe your metro card only to get “Too fast”, “Please try again” “Swipe again at this turnstile” errors, only to have the train close its doors and pull away when you finally get through the turnstile–and then wait 30-45 minutes for the next train to show up.
So 45 minutes later I was on an uptown number 3 train. Not to be outdone by the 3 train I took nearly 10 hours earlier, this train had the old, angry, possibly drunk and/or mentally deranged homeless man peeing in the corner and singing the Star Spangled Banner. At the next stop I moved to the next car, which contained a nice looking old lady smoking a giant cigar. Seriously, it was HUGE. I wish I’d gotten a picture. But I didn’t really want to inhale the smog she was emitting so at the next station I moved on to the next car. I sat down across from a young couple arguing about the rent or car payment or some nonsense. Since it was nearly 1 am and I was really tired, I decided not to press my luck by moving to yet another car so I just sat there and listened to them bicker.
I would tell you about these two in detail but that story would take up an entire post in and of itself. So I’ll just sum up by saying they were absolutely stereotypical New Yorkers. Imagine the Costanza’s from Seinfeld only in their late 20’s and you have a pretty good idea what I’m talking about. And she wasn’t above getting the people around her involved in the argument to try and help prove her point. I was smart enough not to fall into that trap, but sadly the guy next to me wasn’t. Poor guy. He got off at 14th St, but I don’t think that was his stop…
Aaaaaanyway, around 1:40am the train finally lumbered into the 116th street station. Of course the mist had returned to monsoon status but at this point I just didn’t care. I swam home and shook myself off like a wet dog in my entry way. I took off my shoes, walked into the apartment, dropped my bag, and changed into my pajamas. I was about ready to plop down on the couch for a lovely evening of relaxing television when I remembered that I still needed to feed the pets and take out the trash.
I put my clothes back on and hauled the garbage bag down to the curb. I’m guessing that my roommate must be allergic to trash bags, or carrying things down stairs, or something, because I’ve never seen him take out the garbage. I trudged back up the stairs, dried myself off, changed and fed the pets.
So hopefully now you have a good idea of how annoyed I was at this point. It had been a long hard day and I was in no mood to put up with anyone’s nonsense. I laid down on the couch and tried to decide if it would be worth gathering up all the garbage bags I’d taken out and putting them in my roommates room…but I ultimately decided it wouldn’t be worth it.
Just when I was on the brink of going over the edge, I noticed two little ears pop up next to the couch down by my feet. It seems I’d left the cage open and a certain black and white lagamorph had taken the opportunity to escape. Normally I would have been annoyed and tried to chase her back into the cage, but I was curious to see what she’d do.
I closed my eyes for a moment, and when I opened them again there was not one, but two rabbits on the couch down by my feet. I closed my eyes for a second, and when I opened them again, they had moved from my feet to my waist. I closed my eyes again, and when I opened them I was nose to nose with Samantha, my little black and white dutch rabbit. Her sister, Kate (a white and gray Netherland Dwarf), was right behind her. They had a very distinct look on their faces.
“We want raisins.”
I couldn’t help myself. I busted up laughing. It was amazing how these two little bundles of trouble managed to make every bad thing that had happened during the day fade away until it was almost like they never occurred. It was exceptionally cute because typically my rabbits don’t want to be touched at all, let alone spend time on my lap. It was just so nice that they seemed to pick up on the fact that I’d had a terrible day, and even though they had an ulterior motive of getting raisins, they came to cheer me up.
They’ve got me trained pretty well though. Anytime they prance up to me with those cute little eyes, I always give them raisins. Even if I’m in the middle of a raid. In fact Samantha jumped on my lap the other day during that ICC run I mentioned in my last post. And of course, I gave her raisins and petting.
Now if only I can train them to stop eating the carpet…
“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”
I really liked the mood you set in that post. I could almost feel the disgusting humidity…
And I hope you do give us a follow-up about the bickering couple. 🙂
My fiance read the post and laughed and said, “You know, I thought it was funny, but the sad thing is, nothing that happened to you surprised me in the least. Just another day on the New York Subway.”
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