Tag Archives: subway

The Corridor

It’s not glamorous.  It’s not welcoming.  It’s one of New York City’s versions of purgatory, really.  You’re not fully in the city, and you’re also a far cry from wherever you were.  It’s the underground corridor that links Seventh and Eighth Avenues inside of Pennsylvania Station. (Not to be confused with the corridor that links them under Times Square.)

It’s the first place I ever stepped foot in New York when my mom brought me here from our home in Massachusetts for my twelfth birthday.  She looked at a map of Manhattan before we left and figured we’d be able to walk no problem from Penn Station at 34th Street, up to our destination, the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 81st Street.  It is possible.  But it would’ve required fifty-five minutes of our seven-hour day trip.  Instead, a NYPD officer directed us to the A train.  My mom in that moment realized that this city (especially its underground bits) can be incredibly intimidating, and she proceeded to have a nervous breakdown.

Cut to twelve years later, I now live in the city.  And that corridor in Penn Station is, perhaps for nostalgia’s sake, one of my favorite places.  Continue reading

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How to pick up a woman?

You can’t really make it out, but this photo depicts a man using a bench on the subway platform to do arm exercises.  And the woman next to him looks uncomfortable, but too tired to move.  Which is sort of an interesting metaphor.  I feel like I get that way a lot–uncomfortable with my situation, but too tired to do anything about it.

I finally got around to cleaning my room, though, so things are looking up.

3am Subway Attack

I’ve been riding the New York subway at ungodly hours for months now–about 9, to be exact.  Last night I left work at 3am.  Business as usual.  There’s the option of taking a cab, but they just don’t appeal to me.  Sitting in the backseat as someone chauffeurs me home feels extravagant.  It takes longer to go by subway, but this affords me time to read, write, or just stare ahead blankly.  The risks involved in riding public transportation in the middle of the night really haven’t been an issue…thieves, rapists, drug addicts, belligerent homeless people–they haven’t pestered me much.  Nothing has pestered me much, really.

But last night that changed.  I was standing beside one of those tiled columns on the platform.  I admired a small rat climbing over one of the rails.  No lights shone in the tunnel, so I focused on writing in my notepad.  A few people waited, but overall the station was pretty quiet.

After a few moments, though, something happened.  I felt a sensation on my toes.  I live in flip-flops in the summer.  I didn’t think much of the sensation at first, but it was enough to inspire me to look down.  At first I noticed that my toes were a bit dirty.  I made a mental note to take a shower when I got home.  But as I looked closer, I saw a bug walking over two of the toes on my left foot.  Not just a bug–a bee!

I sucked in my breath and was at a loss as to what to do.  One simply does not expect to have to problem solve this sort of problem in the subway at 3am.  Luckily, after a few moments, the bee crawled onto the plastic strap of my flip-flop.  I slowly eased my foot out of my flip-flop–positive that I would be stung at any moment.  It didn’t sting me, though, and I was able to pick up the shoe, tap it on the platform, and be rid of the bee.

I put my flip-flop back on, took a few steps back, and chuckled about what had just happened.  Before I chuckled more than once or twice, though, I saw the bee FLYING towards me.  Why do they do that? It landed on my skirt.  What I had been laughing about a second earlier, sent me into a sudden moderate panic–

I know.  It’s not that bee stings even hurt terribly or that I’m allergic, but if it can be avoided at all, that’s certainly preferable.

In any event, I sort of lost it.  The bee flew off of my skirt and hovered very close to me.  It seemed to have its sights set on landing on the back of my shirt at this point.  I’m not sure if it did make it on my shirt or not, but in an effort to escape, I started running down the subway platform.  Running and whimpering.  And desperately trying to get a good look at my back to see if the bee had landed.

When I stopped running, I no longer saw the bee, but I continued to fidget and whimper.  A man sat on a nearby bench.  He’d been witness to my frantic running.  I’m not sure if he knew why I was behaving in that manner.  I kind of hope he had no idea.  Because if he didn’t see the bee, then for that brief amount of time, I was, in his mind, an insane person.  Running from nothing.  At 3am on the subway platform.

I still don’t know what became of the bee or where it came from.  The train came soon after I stopped running.  I checked the reflection of my back in the train glass to be completely sure of the bee’s absence.  Nothing.  I inhaled and exhaled deeply and waited for my stop.

Religiously Fanatical, Humbert Humbert-like, Alcoholic Man–quit your leering! Thanks.

There was one of those creepy men on the subway just now.  The kind who operate on this whole new level of creepy–they stare as though you are the Virgin Mary or Lolita or a tall, strong drink that must be picked up and ingested as soon as possible.  You look up from your subway reading to find crazed eyes not just staring back at you, but staring back at you as though they have never NOT been staring at you.  It’s not normal, I say.  Leave me to my New Age self-help spirituality book, dammit!

Thanksgiving is upon us!  Things I’m thankful for this year:

  • That I’m not still in contact with the 34-year-old guy I met last Thanksgiving.
  • That I was not ingested like a tall, strong drink by the subway man. 
  • That I have a job, especially one that puts me on the subway at the kind of hours during which men looking to ingest tall, strong women roam the cars.
  • That I now have approximately three pairs of pants to rotate wearing.

Still a couple more days to tweak the list.  If you like lists and indirect references to bestiality, do check out my BILF list from yesterday.