Being a native New Yorker, I have been privy to witness some of the rare and outrageous outbursts and sightings that it seems only occur in New York City. To recognize that, I have decided to start a new series, I Love New York, where I will share some of these occurrences (past and present) with you.
A few weeks ago, I was taking the C train home after a long day. It was the beginning of rush hour and the train was semi-full but not as bad as it could be. I noticed that there was a man sitting across from me with crutches and what looked like an injury to his leg. I thought to myself: Poor thing. Good thing he has a seat.
We pulled into the 23rd Street station. I saw several people get off and a few more people get on. People scurried off the train for their next destination and other straphangers scavenged for an empty seat. Nothing unusual about that. Just another day on the BMT. So, I went back to reading my novel and avoiding eye contact---my usual stance on the train---when I heard this loud commotion.
It was the man with the crutches. He had gotten up from his seat in a huff and stood near the door with his crutches and started railing against the scum of the Earth and how people in the city were savages and lived and acted like animals. He accused us of seeing what other people had done to him and not speaking up on his behalf made us as repulsive as the actual aggressors. I mean, he ranted at us for two train stops, from 34th Street to Times Square, where he finally got off.
Apparently, two women who had gotten on the train at 23rd Street had squeezed him out of his seat and oblivious to the fact that he was on crutches. Were the women rude? Probably. People will go to great lengths for a seat on the subway and they don't care how much they have to push or shove or squeeze to get into the seat. I have experienced this myself.
Now, I did understand his anger and frustration at the women. What I didn't understand was how we were all savages and animals because two women---who, by the way, ignored his rants and raves despite being the cause of them---lacked subway etiquette and overall decency.
But alas, rants on the train are something one gets used to while riding the subway. If it isn't a frustrated straphanger, it's the guy sitting alone in the two-seater in a corner, beer in hand, ranting to an imaginary listener using words you may or may not comprehend...
Only in New York...Just another day on the BMT.